Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Getting Started

I've seen a few "Mobile Frame Zero, getting started" search terms used to find my blog, so it's about time I tackled that topic.
  1. You'll need a copy of the game.  Those can be found here.  A simpler rules only document can be found here.
  2. {* Keanu Reeves voice*} Dice, lots of dice. {*/Keanu Reeves voice*} You'll need 4d6 Red, 4d8 Red, 4d6 Green, 2d8 Green, (X+1)d6 Blue, and (X+1)d6 Yellow.  X = The number of frames you are using.  This will give you enough dice to cover all your frames and enough to roll dice for at least two at a time.
  3. Frames.  For four people; one team of three Frames with less than maximum attachments, one team of three frames with maximum attachments, one team of four frames, and one team of five frames will give you a span of starting points with clear Defender, Primary Attacker, and Secondary Attackers. That's fifteen frames total. Ordering from would cost you $150.00 for three sets of five frames. Or you could try and build your own frames from a bunch of Umbaran MHC polybags. It's basically an Ijad frame-in-a-bag. Or you could look at any number of creations people have made for the Single Set Challenge.

    There are any number of ways to build a starter squad in this game. Unfortunately I don't know what you have for a budget, what you like, or what you're looking for in a play experience so I can't really suggest more than that.
  4. Other people to play against.  That I can't really help you with beyond pointing you to the Game Finder section of the Hangar.
I hope this helps you begin your journey with Mobile Frame Zero.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Build Journal: Hedgehogs

One of the "problems" of buying sets in bulk is that you sometimes end up with parts you don't immediately have a use for.  You then have to find storage space for them, put them away, etc.  I sort of had this problem with 1x2-2x2 Inverted Brackets.  They don't stack neatly and they take up a lot of space when loose.

I noticed recently that when assembled into my usual storage configuration
they look kind of like a Czech Hedgehog.  I remember having a discussion
with Malcolm Craig about Travis Bricks making a good starting point for Hedgehogs but they were a little too rare in the community at the time.

That led me to attaching a bunch of pointy bits in different configurations
to make a handful of different variations.  The two on the outside will
each take two hits before being brought under the height limit for cover.

One of the benefits of these creations is that you can toss a handful onto a table like they were Jacks and they won't break apart.  That makes set up really easy if all you are using is these Hedgehogs.  A coincidental good thing for me is that these are built out of White, Black, and Lime colored pieces, so they match the color scheme for my Sci-Fi Outpost setting.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Cool Real-World Locations

I took a trip by train a few weeks ago and traveled through an interesting looking train station.  I thought it would make a great place to create out of Lego for a MFZ:RA tabletop.

Westerly, Rhode Island Amtrack Station.  Use Friendship St., Canal St., and Railroad Ave. as three of your borders and you've got a nice playing field to fill with MFZ goodness.  There's lots of open area to travel through, buildings for hard cover and trees for soft cover.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Road to PAX East 2016, Part 2

Back on Tuesday, Sept. 8th Dark Cloud Blogs hosted a G+ chat for us to talk about PAX East 2016 and other things.  We discussed a number of topics and had a few people from the community join in.  Here's a breakdown of most of the things we talked about.

Dark Cloud Blogs vs. The Mobile Frame Garage.  A MFZ: Rapid Attack game at mini-figure scale.  It will be a skirmish and the field of battle will be from 9 feet to 13 feet on a side.  We're probably going to need Joshua's help securing the necessary square footage.  I've got a solid idea of the squad I want to field, I just have to build it.

Since last year's PAX East I've wanted to run a Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack Tournament.  Twenty-seven  players is the magic number.  That gets us the optimum table breakdown for three rounds of play.  There are at least 20 MFZ players in Massachusetts alone.  I know because I've seen them on the Hangar.  If we can get them all to attend along with several people from outside the state we can have a really fun get-together and play MFZ at the same time.  Of course this would be helped if we got this on the official PAX East schedule.

Mobile Frame Zero Review Panel / Blogger's Symposium.  Another thing I want to do is get all of the MFZ bloggers in one place and do a panel on what it takes to do a blog for MFZ.  Or maybe do a "State of Mobile Frame Zero" type panel involving Joshua.  This idea is less clear in my head than the tournament one.

MF0: Music Vid.  John came up with a parody of "Hello" from Book of Mormon based on MFZ.  He wants to make a MFVA (Mobile Frame Music Video!)?!?

John has set up an ongoing G+ Hangout for us to talk about MFZ.  It will be every other month on the second Tuesday starting Oct 13.  There can only be 10 in the chat so the guests will be limited but any open slots means there will be an entrance link in the watch room on a first come first serve basis.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Public Service Announcement

As you may know, member registration at the Hangar has been closed for over a week due to a high influx of spammers.  We're going to keep registration closed for another week.  In the meantime we ask that anyone who registered in the month of September and hasn't posted yet to please do so.  Because, after the week is up we're going to delete all the zero post accounts as spammers.  Once again, if you joined the board in September and haven't posted yet please stop lurking and say "hello" so you aren't deleted as a spammer.  Thank you for your patience.

Monday, September 21, 2015

TMOH: Crab Mecha 2015

Another year and another update to my venerable Crab Mecha design.  This one came about because over on the Hangar, Blorf asked me if I'd ever tried a different leg design for my Crab Mecha.  This is the result of that question.

Blorf 1
Blorf 2

Blorf 3

As you can see, I've used all three of the 1x Studless Slopes in these versions, and the extra articulation in the leg adds a bit of character to the design.  I'm not sure if this is the last modification I'll make to the design but I'm interested in seeing where the future takes it.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Random Mechs 15

Let's finish out the week with some interesting mecha.

Crankcase by Hammerstein NWC.  I've featured his work before.
This one may be a tad tall for MFZ but it sure is interesting.

W5-252 Combat Drone - Heavy Weapons Variant by MinifigGuy.
I'm not too thrilled by the ankle connections, but the rest
of it looks solid.  It also can't be downloaded.

"Kobold" Drone by Garry_Rocks.  Render.  There are some 
brilliant techniques here.  It's unfortunate we'll never see
this one "in the brick", 'cause this thing is a beast.

Puddle Jumper by Nick Royer.  These look fantastic.  They also have instructions.

RCI MM-G2 by art_xxx13.  A simple, straightforward build with just
enough articulation.  A squad of these on a table would be great.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Battle Report: September Showdown, Part 2

Here are some incidental photos that weren't included in yesterday's post.

These are some game info cards Tom printed
up for us to hand to interested passer-by.

Turn 1, the scrum around
one of Tom's Stations.

Turn 2, the same scrum.

Narbey's five hit damage
roll on my Black frame.

Damage done to the Solar
Panel Installation in Turn 2.

The scrum in turn 4.

My dead Frame in Turn 4.

My stations in Turn 5.

Turn 5, Tom's dead Frame.

The scrum, Turn 5.

A Frame's eye view of one
of my Stations after Turn 5.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Battle Report: September Showdown, Part 1

A few of us got together last weekend for a friendly game of Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack.  Narbey was initially thinking of using my Blue Devil Chub Squad but he ended up going with my Defender's of Ahu's Wisdom squad after getting a look at them.

Tom (4 Frames & 16 Systems) = (7 Points per Asset) * (6 assets) = 42 points.

#1 (2Rd+d8/2B/2W)
#2 (2Ra+d8/2Y/2W+SSR)
#3 (2Rh/2B/1Y/1Gd8/2W+SSR)
#4 (2Rh/2B/1Y/1Gd8/2W+SSR)
Me (5 Frames & 19 Systems) = (4 Points per Asset) * (7 assets) = 28 points.
Black (2Rh+d8/2B/1Gd8/2W+SSR)
Yellow (2B/2Y/1Gd8/2W+SSR)
White (2Rd/2B/2W)
Silver (2Ra+d8/2B/2W+SSR)
Blue (3Rd/1Rh/2B/2W)
Narbey (5 Frames & 20 Systems) = (3 Points per Asset) * (7 assets) = 21 points.
Red (2Rh+d8/1B/1G+d8/2W+SSR)
White (2Rd+d8/1B/1G/2W)
Bronze (2Rd+d8/1B/1G/2W)
Blue (2Ra+d8/2Y/2W+SSR)
Black (2Ra+d8/2Y/2W+SSR)

Events of Turn 1 (DDC@11):  Tom attacks my White frame then Narbey's Red (2 Damage).  Tom attacks Narbey's Bronze frame.  There's a major scrum by one of Tom's Stations.  Tom's #2 frame takes 3 damage, his #3 frame took 1 damage and both did the Station Dance.
Tom: 42 points.
Me: 24 points.
Narbey: 21 points.

Events of Turn 2 (DDC@9):  Tom attacks my Silver frame for 2 damage.  I take one of his Stations with my Blue frame.  His #2 frame takes 1 damage.
Tom: 35 points.
Me: 32 points.
Narbey: 21 points.

Events of Turn 3 (DDC@7):  I seize Tom's other Station with my Black frame.  Narbey's Bronze frame attacks my Black for 5 damage, I do the Station Dance.  Narbey takes the Station I just abandoned.  Tom recaptures his other station from my Blue frame after it does the Station Dance.
Tom: 35 points.
Narbey: 24 points.
Me: 24 points.

Events of Turn 4 (DDC@4):  Tom destroys my Silver frame and takes the Station it was guarding.  I recapture his other Station back after doing 4 damage to the Frame that was holding it and he does the Station Dance.
Tom: 42 points.
Narbey: 24 points.
Me: 20 points.

Events of Turn 5 (DDC@2):  I destroy Tom's #2 frame with 3 damage.  We all debate the issues of Frames as Cover in the scrum around Tom's former Station.  Narbey inflicts one damage on his White frame in an Artillery attack on Tom's #4 frame.  The Doomsday Clock gets ticked down to 0.
Tom: 35 points.
Narbey: 24 points.
Me: 20 points.

Thoughts & Observations:
  • As you can see in the pictures above, the new terrain I talked about in this blog post did what it was supposed to -- look good and take damage easily.
  • We Played a Skirmish instead of a Battle.
  • Narbey and I let up on Tom too early.  We should have kept pressing him in Turn 4.
  • My Strongarms Squad is back!
  • I'll have more incidental photos tomorrow.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Good Sets for Parts 10

It's been a while since I've done one of these and I just got a new catalog, so, on with the show.

70733 Blaster Bike.  212 pieces for $19.99.  It has a bunch of parts in Black, along with having several new parts and a few older parts in the new Yellowish-Green color .  Should be interesting.

70734 Master Wu's Dragon.  575 pieces for $39.99.  A little larger than I'm used to recommending but it has a $0.07 Price per Piece ratio along with having interesting and useful pieces in Black, Dark Bley, Light Bley, White, and other colors.

75100 First Order Snowspeeder.  444 pieces for $39.99.  Your standard Star Wars color selection -- Dark Bley, Light Bley, etc. -- but a $0.09 Price per Piece which is good for a licensed set.  A good parts selection too.

75099 Rey's Speeder.  193 Pieces for $19.99.  A good selection of pieces in Dark Red and other colors.

21303 Wall-E.  677 Pieces for $59.99.  A little large, but tons of useful pieces and a $0.09 Price per Piece.

41103 Pop Star Recording Studio.  172 Pieces for $14.99.  Plenty of useful pieces, plus pieces in Purple, Magenta, and Medium Azure.  Plus a $0.09 Price per Piece.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Build Journal: Sci-Fi Outpost

A long time ago I wrote a post on making your gaming table look good.  Interesting terrain always makes things better.  MittenNinja has his High Desert look, Malcolm Craig had that one really neat game at a Spaceport.  I stuck with the houses and other buildings I'd made as terrain for a fairly long time, but they didn't really take much damage in any of the games we played using them.  That kind of takes away one of the fun parts of the game, scattering bits of Lego all over the battlefield.  They also made the table look a little pedestrian.  They didn't really have a science fiction "look" to them.  Recently I've been working on changing that.  This summer I started building new scenery that wasn't overly complex but still looked interesting.

I started with the "Sci-Fi Greenhouse".

My second creation was the "Sci-Fi Drill".

The "Solar Panel Installation" was my third creation.

Next up was the "Bug Train".  It's an all
terrain vehicle towing several cargo pods.  Bug
is a play on Buggy, also the main body design somewhat looks like an insect's carapace.

So far the last item is a "Micro Sci-Fi Greenhouse".

I'm trying to unify the look of all these designs by using a fairly
strict color palette.  White and Lime Green are the main two
colors.  Black is a secondary color along with Trans-Light Blue.

You can see these pieces being used in a couple of games, here and here.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Videos 3

Another set of random mecha builds that may be useful to the MFZ community.

Lego Mech + Instructions 4.

Lego Mech + Instructions 5.  Another pair by Captain Hobby.

Lego Mech #2.  The frame in this video is a little too large for MFZ but it has some interesting techniques and some MFZ scale attachments.

Mobile Frame Zero - VLOG UPDATE (12/3/14).  A vlog from SykoYoda who seems new to the game.

Mobile Frame Zero Review: Miniature Mecha awesomeness.  A short video talking about MFZ with links to Frame designs.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Review: 30042 Mini Sub Polybag

There's a reason I check the pegs in the checkout aisles at Target every time I go in there, and this review is a direct result of that.  This set was only released in 2010.  Yes, that's right, you're getting a review of a five year old set.

Bag.  MSRP was $3.99 for 36 parts.  Which gives us a $0.11 Price per Piece.


Minifig.  The stud on the sprue holding the Flippers together fits into a Lego standard 3mm peg.

Parts.  There's not a lot here, a few Plates, a few 1x1 Round Bricks, some Mechanical Arms, some Clip Plates, a couple Half Pins, a Propeller, a Minifig Handlebar, a Minifig Loudhailer, a Minifig Crystal Globe, a Jewel, a Bar Plate (open ends), and a couple Black Bars 1x4x2 w/Studs.

Build. This one's kind of cheating. I built a battlesuit around the minifig. It has
2Rd+d8 (laser & missile launcher) 2Rh+d8 (manipulator arms) 2W for stats.

The Questions:
Can you build something -- a frame, station, or starship -- right away?  Yes.  (+5)
Is it below, at, or above the golden ratio?  Above.  (-10) (The Golden Ratio is $0.10 per part.)
If you can't build a frame right away, or choose not to, does it have parts you should be able to put into use right away?  Yes.  (+5)
Does it have more than a handful of immediately useful parts?  No.  (-5)
Score: -5 (B-).  Not that great a score but I did learn some things from the build that I may be using in the future.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Review: 41538 Mixels Kamzo

And here we are with the last set of Series 5 to finish out the week.

Bag.  MSRP is $4.99 for a $0.09 Price per Piece.


Parts.  A lot of Slopes in this one, some Mixel Joints, some Plates, Brackets -- including the newer 1x2-2x4 -- 2x2x1 Bricks, a Bar Plate, a Mechanical Arm, a couple of Bar Claws, a Tooth Plate, a 2x2 Turntable, some Large Jumpers, some 1x2 Technic Bricks, a couple of 1x2 Technic Bricks w/Axle Hole, and couple of Gears, and a Tooth Plate.

Build.  I really like this one.

The Questions:
Can you build something -- a frame, station, or starship -- right away?  
Yes.  (+5)
Is it below, at, or above the golden ratio?  Below.  (+5)
(The Golden Ratio is $0.10 per part.)
If you can't build a frame right away, or choose not to, does it have parts you should be able to put into use right away?  Yes.  (+5)
Does it have more than a handful of immediately useful parts?  Yes.  (+5)
Score: +20 (A+).  And we finish out Series 5 with another maxed out score.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Review: 41539 Mixel Krog

The next to last in the series.

Bag.  MSRP is $4.99 for a $0.08 Price per Piece.


Parts.  Plenty of Plates, some Mixel Joints, a couple Bar Bricks, Technic Bricks, Technic Bricks w/ Axle Holes, and Brackets, some Slopes, a Large Jumper, a few Tooth Plates, some Robot Arms, Mechanical Arms, Bar Claws, Clip Plates, Bar Plates, and Tiles.  Also a Trans-Light Blue Radar Dish, and Minifig Saws w/Handle & Tooth.

Build.  I went a little old school on this one.

The Questions:
Can you build something -- a frame, station, or starship -- right away?
Yes.  (+5)
Is it below, at, or above the golden ratio?  Below.  (+5)
(The Golden Ratio is $0.10 per part.)
If you can't build a frame right away, or choose not to, does it have parts you should be able to put into use right away?  Yes.  (+5)
Does it have more than a handful of immediately useful parts?  Yes.  (+5)
Score: +20 (A+).  Another max Mixel for the Blue tribe.