Pre-Painted Models Way of Future for Starship Troopers

This is an URGENT posting. I found out today, on very good information like so good I can’t tell you the how or why but I can tell you this is 210% FACT and WILL happen, that Mongoose Publishing is drastically changing how it handles its Starship Troopers Miniatures game. You can also check out the SST Evolution Thread @ MGP Website for more information and reactions.

They are unhappy with how their models have been coming out, of particular note the company is unhappy with their Skinnies models, and will NOT be releasing anything new for the rest of 2006. Existing models will continue production but that’s that.

They are also canceling the entire Starship Troopers game as we know it. In its place will be a new rules system. The existing rules were devised by Andy Chambers and are some of the best rules I’ve ever had the pleasure to play with. The new rules system will be called Battlefield Evolution and will come out in January 2007.

Battlefield Evolution will take place 5-10 years from present day. You’ll get to use real world soldiers and everything, based off the SST rules system with some changes. The main difference is that ALL the models will come pre-painted. Mongoose says that the models will be painted to a “90%” higher quality than existing pre-painted minis.

They released the following photos of two tanks as proof of their claim.

They will be doing the same thing for Starship Troopers Evolution, as they call it. April 2007 a slew of releases will hit the shelves. They are Mobile Infantry Light Armour Squad, the Mobile Infantry Grizzly Exosuit Squad, Arachnid Warrior Bug Swarm (they are aiming to squeeze 12

bugs in this!), Tanker Bug, Skinnie Raiders, Skinnie Soldiers, Forth Fenos Fighting Machines and Forth Fenirs Command Fighting Machines.
The Forth are the 4th race for Starship Troopers, a non-humanoid robot army. All of the new releases wil be pre-painted too. Mongoose stresses that this is NOT a collectible game. Everything will be sold in blisters/squad boxes with bubbles for you to see exactly what you’re getting. They have also said the plastic will be much harder and more durable than that used for games such as SW Minis, Heroclix, or DnD Minis. So no bending weapons there.

In a press release Mongoose has said

“Each box set will contain a streamlined version of the rules,
allowing people to start playing the moment they pick up the models –
and this will not be a watered down `pint-size’ game, but one you
can run serious tournaments with. The full-size rulebook, priced at
$24.95 and available 2-3 months after the first box sets, will not
contain radically different rules, but rather lean more towards new
options and methods of play – for those who want the full Starship
Troopers experience!

After the first eight box sets have been released, we will produce
one box set every month thereafter for each army, meaning you will
never have to wait long for something new and interesting to come
along for your force. The models themselves will be based on
existing designs where we feel we have excelled ourselves (such as
with the Exosuits) and will be changed where we feel we can do a lot
better, such as with some of the Skinnies.”-Matthew Sprange

Lastly, yes you can merge the new Starship Troopers Evolution with Battlefield Evolution. I don’t know why you’d want to do that but you can. Mongoose has said the new models will exactly fit in with existing models for SST. So, if you’re like me and you’ve spent almost a thousand dollars on SST models you will be able to use them with the new game.

I can’t wait to see the new rules, they’ll be posted on the Mongoose website for free, to see if I want to play the new game or not. Even if I don’t I can always play the existing SST game, designed by Mr. Chambers himself, with my friends.

I wonder if Mongoose will be doing this with their other games. I also am wondering how this will impact Friendly Local Gaming Stores (FLGS). Will they make the room for a new game and for the changes to SST? Or, will they ditch the game to the 50% off bargain bin?

The two stores I frequent have opposite results for SST. One has a large crowd who love the game. The other has a lot of product but nobody buying or playing. When I was on the Mongoose Publishing Demo Team we moved a lot of product at my store, the one nobody is buying or playing SST at, but now that has changed.

Stores have limited space and Mongoose had an uphill battle when they released SST. By and large they were successful but I feel they needed to stick with it to make further progress. The #1 complaint I heard was about the quality of the models. People hated how they looked, lack of detail in particular, and the limitations on painting. Perhaps the route of pre-painted models will help Mongoose surpass that skepticism. At least I hope so.

I am afraid that with this change stores will feel that Mongoose doesn’t have the staying power that others, such as Games Workshop, has and will dump their products. I’d like to see everyone give Mongoose the chance to show what the new route for SST will give. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch and all that jazz.

Who knows? They may just surprise us and I’m holding my judgment in reserve until I see the items in action. Mongoose, give it your best shot and bowl us over!