Whatever Happened to ... MERCS

MERCs – At one point this was my go to skirmish game. The models and background were great. The movement and force selection mechanics were innovative. Everything seemed to be coming up roses. I loved this game so much I adapted the mechanics to do a Zombie version of the game.

The life cycle for MERCs in my area seemed to follow the rise in popularity of the game. When the second/third wave of Factions released there were some balance issues introduced as well as some manufacturing errors that resulted in some pretty poorly detailed models for the {reference} and Texico Factions.

The popularity of the game was enough to spur on a Fantasy game MYTH as well as some other games in the MERCs universe.

As with many of the games in this era, the next step was a Kickstarter with Plastic Miniatures. I passed on this one as the game had fallen off by this point locally and even though I like the universe I don't have the shelf space to dedicate to more models that won't see play.

I'm starting to see a trend with hot games falling off locally when a new edition launches. It seems strange to me since bigger companies will launch new editions of their games every few years and don't seem to have the same problem. I think being a fringe game might have something to do with it as well as not having a local "company man" to really drive that interest in an alternative system.

I did see some of the first edition boxes on clearance though so I might consider picking them up. I own several of the Megacons and wouldn't mind busting this out to play the original every now an then for nostalgia.

Is MERCs still thriving in your area? What do you love about the 2nd Edition? Should I pick it up, why? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.