Monday, December 31, 2012

Good Sets for Parts #4

Since the clearance season has started, here's a new list.  Let's start this one out with a bit of a surprise.  Affordable Star Wars sets!

75000 Clone Troopers vs. Droidekas, $11.99 for 126 pieces.  Lots of Light and Dark Blay pieces, standard for Star Wars sets, but two Droideka "figures" that can be assembled as mechs or broken down for the component pieces.

75002 AT-RT, $19.99 for 202 pieces.  Lovely bits in blue and blay, and a couple of the new brackets.  If you buy two sets you can make a Ruler from the 1x4 Hinge Bricks that are a part of the set.  The Droideka "figure" looks like it might fit into MFZ scale too.

9447 Lasha's Bite Cycle, $24.99 for 250 pieces.  Sideways hinge bricks, hinge plates, Technic bits, Lime and Dark Green pieces make this a fun set.

70701 Swarm Interceptor, $19.99 for 218 pieces.  Three different shades of blue!  Clip plates, hinge plates, bar plates, and a 2x4 Hinge Plate make for a good selection.

70702 Warp Stinger, $29.99 for 310 pieces.  Look at all the new pieces

79001 Escape from Mirkwood Spiders, $29.99 for 298 pieces.  Clip plates, clip tiles, and click hinges all over the places.  The color pallete is a little limited though.

7347 Highway Pickup, $79.99 for 805 pieces.  Lots of clip plates and Technic bits in this one.  Probably would have been cheaper if it didn't have two Light Bricks.

10230 Mini Modulars, $79.99 for 1356 pieces!  This one is full of great pieces, but they're in ones and twos.

6914 Prehistoric Hunters, $17.99 for 191 pieces.  John Phelps (Dogbarian) writes, "Another nice set, I picked it up for $17, but have since seen it cheaper, it's 194 parts, so it's in the sweet ratio, and has a large number of hinge plates (in red, light grey, dark grey, and black), as well as 3 Technic rotation joints and a number of other interesting ones."

31005 Construction Hauler, $17.99 for 256 pieces.  Red and yellow pieces, click hinges, taps, droid arms, lightsaber bars, Lampholders, and headlight bricks, oh my!

31008 Thunder Wings, $19.99 for 235 pieces. Orange, white, and blue pieces, hinge plates, lamp holders, wedge bricks, and slope bricks.  Pretty nice.

The first Good Sets for Parts post is here.
The second GSfP post is here.
The third GSfP post is here.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Battle Report 2: Christmas Eve Carnage

Stevenik and I had a rematch on Tuesday.  He wanted revenge for his first loss, I just wanted to play again.  :-)  I used my Spider Mechs again, stevenik used the Strongarms with some slight modifications since the last go 'round.  I had 11 assets -- 8 mechs (with 26 attachments) and 3 stations -- for 33 points.  stevenik had 8 assets -- 5 mechs (with 19 attachments) and 3 stations -- for 56 points.

Here's the battleground at the start of the game.  The Doomsday clock is at 11.

Turn 1: stevenik has the initiative and chooses to go first.  He starts with his Spotter mech lighting up one of my Leader mechs and taking one of my stations.  He then draws fist blood with a thunderous strike from his Artillery mech, destroying the spotted Leader mech with one shot.  More shots are traded, he damages another of my mechs, mechs shuffle position and I take one of his stations in return.

stevenik (56 points) vs. myself (30 points).  The Doomsday clock has been ticked down to 9.

Turn 2: stevenik still has the initiative and chooses to go first again.  Shots are fired, no real damage is taken.  I take one of his stations, destroy the HtH mech defending it, and damage his Spotter mech.

stevenik (40 points) vs. myself (33 points).  The Doomsday clock has been ticked down to 7.

Turn 3: stevenik still has the initiative and once again chooses to go first.  He damages my Assault mech but I manage to take two of his stations.  I also destroy his Spotter and Direct Fire mechs.  As a note: I hit the Direct Fire mech with a 10 die hit and only two came up damage-worthy.

Myself (36 points) vs. stevenik (24 points).  The Doomsday clock has been ticked down to 5.

Turn 4: I have initiative but allow stevenik to go first.  He destroys my Assault mech and re-takes the station it had stolen.  I re-take the station he had stolen on the first turn.  Three of my mechs on one side of the board go leap-frogging for the other side and stevenik's remaing mechs.

Myself (33 points) vs. stevenik (24 points).  The Doomsday clock has been ticked down to 3.

Turn 5: I still have the initiative and again allow stevenik to go first.  He damages one of my mechs.  I shift position on several of my mechs and end the turn.

Myself (33 points) vs. stevenik (24 points).  The Doomsday clock has been ticked down to 2.

Turn 6:
Once again I have the initiative and force stevenik to go first.  He attacks with his remaining two mechs, damages one of mine but fails to kill anything.  I pass on the rest of my turn and tick the Doomsday clock down to zero.

Myself (33 points) vs. stevenik (24 points). The Doomsday clock has been ticked down to 0.

Monday, December 24, 2012

More Community!

Since Christmas is tomorrow I figured I'd post this tonight and get a jump on the week.

Here's a few blogs with minimal posts about MFZ.  I'd like to see more from all of these. More voices in the wilderness as it were.

postGeek -- This blog has a couple of posts about MFZ. -- Another blog with one post about MFZ.
Build/Paint/Play -- Ditto.
Robaker -- Ditto.
To Hit Arse Class 0 -- And another.

Here's some random DeviantArt pages.

Mobile Frame Zero test -- A page by Doc Evilonavich.
Mobile Frame Zero: Prototype 1 -- By KarolineDianne.
Mobile Frame Zero Objectives  -- By Magical Tuba Pixie.
MFZ Ground Lancer Heavy -- A LDD frame by Xeno-Striker.  Looks like a MGN variant, but I could be wrong.
Sigmund -- A mech by Lord Icarus.
Lego Mech Squad -- A set of mechs by Illogictree.
NT-103 Bandit -- By HeroicSpartanMan51.

Here's a couple of new Pinterest pages.

Legos -- A Pinterest page by M.J. Bauer, of C6 fame.
Robotix -- This contains non-Lego images but looks to be full of interesting pictures.

And a random Imgur post about building forces for MFZ.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Spotlight: Captain Bane

While perusing the Brothers Brick, I noticed a couple of creations on the Flickr roll in the gutter of the site.  This led me to Captain Bane's Flickr stream.  He has a few fun  creations that would look good on a MFZ game table.

Ares Corp. Miner Bot

Ares Corp. Miner Bot


Ares Corp. Overseer Defense Drone


Updated @ 11:50am to add direct links to pictures.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Non-Human Looking Frames

The majority of frame designs out there are human looking.  Anthropomorphism is a strong force in creation and generally can only be overcome with intent.

First, here's the post over at Mechatonic that inspired this one.

Done?  Good.  Let's look at a handful that I find interesting.

The first three are all designed around the same look.



The next two are also similar.



This by FlamingMinister has a centauroid element mixed in.

And finally, the Crab Droid by The Solitary Dark.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Battle Report!

I actually got the chance to play this past Sunday.  I brought my demo set-up over to a friend's house to teach him how to play.  Mainly because we had nothing better to do on a cold Sunday besides play MFZ and eat Dim Sum.  :-)

I selected my squad of Spider Mechs,  stevenik took the Strongarms.  With eight mechs (26 attachments) and three stations I had 33 points.  stevenik had five mechs (18 attachments) and three stations for 56 points.  At this point I made a hash of the placement rules as I had left my copy of the rulebook at home.  It all worked out okay though.

Here's the battlefield at the start of the game.

Steve's Primary Station is at the lower right of the left-hand picture.  My Primary Attacker is just to the right of the white house.

Turn 1: stevenik, having the initiative, decides to activate his mechs.  One at a time he cycles through his mechs taking a poke at as many of mine that were in range.  This led to my Primary Attacker taking three hits.  He also sends his Black mech after one of my unguarded stations.  After his turn was done I attacked, destroying his Blue mech and damaging his white one.  All this through withering chain attacks and lucky dice rolls.  I also send several poorly placed mechs scurrying towards his open stations.  The Doomsday Clock then counted down to 10 from 12.

Turn 2: stevenik is still in control 49 to 33, so he once again attacks with all his mechs.  He does minor damage to another of my mechs and manages to capture one of my stations.  I manage to destroy a second mech of his and capture one of his stations in return.  I also managed to leap frog my mechs closer to his other stations.  The Doomsday Clock then counted down to 8 from 10.

Turn 3:  stevenik is still in control 42 to 33.  This time he finally destroys my Primary attacker and damages another that I had moved in to attack his Silver artillery mech.  He also moves his Black mech back toward one of his stations I am trying to capture.  I move for position.  I also for get to document this turn with pictures.  The Doomsday Clock then counted down to 6 from 8.

Turn 4: stevenik is still in control 42 to 30.  He once again activates all of his mechs in turn.  He destroys another of my attacking mechs as well as blocking one of his secondary stations from my attackers, forcing a heavy confrontation.  I activate my mechs, doing minor damage.  The Doomsday Clock then counted down to 4 from 6.

Turn 5: stevenik is still in control 42 to 27.  He once again attacks, doing minor damage.  I attack in return, destroying his Black mech and capturing one of his stations.  The tide has shifted!  The Doomsday Clock then counted down to 2 from 4.

Turn 6: I have seized control!  The points stand at 30 for me to 28 for him.  I force stevenik to go.  He attacks with his two remaining mechs, setting up a Hail Mary attack from his artillery mech.  It fails to do enough damage and I skate through by the skin of my teeth to win the game.

Here's a few pictures of the aftermath of the game.

Notice the killing field by the barrel depot -- the lower right corner of three of the pictures.  Four mechs were destroyed and one was damaged in the fighting over that one station.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Random Thoughts About MFZ 1.5

 8.) I need to remember to keep better notes so I'm not up 'til 2am trying to remember details of the game.

9.) I need to prep more more squads to be battle ready.  I've got a bunch that look cool that haven't been quite finished or statted up.

10.) I need to build more squad-specific stations.  The ones I've built for the Spider Mechs are great.  Now make more because you were lucky to have a couple of generic stations in the demo box on Sunday.  :-)

11.) I need to build more terrain.  The village set-up looks good.  If I build more and different buildings I can vary the battlefield and the type of games we play.

12.) As you will see from the pictures in the upcoming battle report, I still haven't built a Ruler.

Random Thoughts About MFZ

After making the chance to play a game yesterday (Yes, there will be a battle report.  I still have to upload a few photos and pin down a few details before I post anything.) I have a few thoughts rattling around my head concerning MFZ.

1.) Split Range weapons are a really bad idea when teaching the game.  They have their place after someone is used to playing but in an introductory situation they are annoying to explain and hard to execute well.

1A.) I really need to update my Strongarms demo team to eliminate this problem.

2.) I really need to internalize the set-up rules.  I forgot my copy of the rules at home and went from memory for everything.  I have the points per, dice rolling, and initiative rules locked in.  Not the rules for setting up forces on the battlefield.

3.) One of these days I will actually use Single Shot Rockets in a game.

4.) One of these days I will actually remember to do damage to cover during a game.

5.) The MFZ engine has the potential to be remarkably robust.  After the game was over we discussed using it for a game of X-Men vs. Avengers with Kubrik figures standing in for the usual Lego mecha.

6.) We also discussed using Shogun Warriors figures as the "miniatures" for a game.  I really want to try that someday.  Terrain will be a bitch though.

7.) I need a better transportation system.  The cardboard box I'm using right now is good in terms of carrying space, it's just a little awkward.  I should look into a large tackle box like the one Joshua uses.  That way I have a handle to hold on to and it's easier to transport in public.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Minor Update

I've added a few links to the MFZ Community page.  I've also split the Tumblr/Pinterest section as they've each grown enough to stand on their own.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


No, not the burping you're thinking of. BURP is AFOL-Speak for Big Ugly Rock Pieces.  In terms of terrain use, similarly to one-piece trees, they interact badly with the rules for damaging cover.  There is a way to get around this.  Instead of using a BURP as a single piece, cover it with smaller bricks that you can break off if and when the cover is hit by a stray attack.  Another way to use them is to lay one or two down flat -- instead of standing up like they're normally presented -- so that they look like large, glacially-deposited rocks sticking up from the ground.  Depending on the scale you're playing at they won't really be tall enough for cover.  Well, this one will be five plates tall, and the second will be seven and a half plates tall when laid flat.  The third will be ten plates tall which still counts as cover and leads you back to the original problem.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Now that I've started posting regularly again I'm going to try and maintain that progress.  What I wanted to do, before my burn out period, was make posts twice a week.  Looking at my posts about scenery, I think I can continue on that tangent for a while.  Like a couple of webcomic artists I'm fond of reading I'm going to try and build up a backlog of posts for when things go slack creatively.

Also, I cracked 50K views sometime between Thursday and Friday of last week.  Thank you to everyone that reads this blog.

Friday, November 30, 2012


Over on the Hangar, Malcolm started a discussion thread asking about what people would like to see on his blog.  One of the items mentioned was scenery and the best sets for parts for that scenery.  Since I've posted about the best sets for MFZ before and I've also posted about scenery, I figured I could start talking about this topic.

I was originally going to go another direction with this but I've changed my mind.

Let's look at what's available from Lego in terms of "plant matter".  First we have the Bricklink category of Plants.  There are 17 items most of which seem to be generally available.  Combine a few of those items with a few brown pieces like this, or this, or these and you can make things like the plant life in this picture.

Now, I can hear you asking, "How 'bout them houses?"  We'll get to them soon enough.  You'll notice I'm not much interested in the other Bricklink category, Plant, Tree.  This is because most of the trees in that category are single pieces and don't interact so well with the MFZ rules for terrain damage.  The Palm Tree parts are okay though.

Now, the houses.  They're all copied from the base design set down here by Soren.  Those houses along with a small office building, a mosque, and some cars get you a small village as a battleground.