Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tactics, Company Composition, and Rules

Cpt. Angelo is the commanding officer of the 31st OMU. He likes guns and peaches.
In that order.
Over the past week or so, there has been some serious discussion over on the forums.

Thanks to Vincent (aka Lumpley) we have damn near all of the rules for MFZ. This post contains the rules for setting up the battlefield and getting things started, as well as links to all of the other discussions about the rules on the forums.

So what's left after knowing how to play? Building and setting up your company! There's a discussion on Company Builds, different Weapon Loadout Theories, and Battle Simulations. I highly suggest getting in there and reading up, not only can you jump in the discussion, but the guys who made the game are putting in their two cents too. Plus, they'll be using this feedback to help finish editing the rulebook.

Oh and NEW POLL.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Weekly Rundown 4/23/12

thomastamblyn has put together some frankly stellar little designs. The Hobbes and the Habermas bring back memories of playing Mechwarrior 2 in my dad's basement, and he's got breakdowns of them both on his flickr stream. I know I'm going to be using some of his designs.

Take a look at some awesome Hi-Leg variants with corresponding support drones by Mance Haines here, here, and here. The drone idea is something I've been working on as well and it's awesome to see someone else doing it too!

Round, bubbly, slick looking tachikoma inspired quadrupeds. That's what MFZeroRA has been cooking up.

I avsolutely love the reactor station that c0dmonk33 built. The sniper rifle on his chub is pretty slick too!

Pasukaru76 knows how to put together some friggin awesome looking legs. Look at those ankle joints! Genius!

A YATES threw together a Zizy inspired frame called the MINX. The posture on the thing is sick.

The news front is rather slow since Soren and Josh are either moving and/or getting married (congrats!) and they are in the process of getting things together to publish. That means all the discussion is going on over at the forums. There's some great rules previews, discussions, background and setting info, and last but not least a very active "forge" for new custom frames. GO LOOK!

New Poll up later today!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fleshing Out the Setting

A Spitting Dragon uses the high
ground to find his target.
I've been thinking that I need a place to store all of the information for this setting that's a bit more organized than a blog form. Thus, I've started a thread over at the Mobile Frame Hanger to serve as a reference for Orion 6 and all of the fun info that is associated with it. I will still continue to flesh things out here, as well as post builds and news. But if you want a overview of what the setting is all about, head over to the forums and have a look!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Raising Hell

On Orion 6 it's not just the colonists and the Solar Union at odds. There are many other, smaller groups who have vested interest in the ores underneath the crust of the planet. One of these such groups is the Hellraisers. By the common man's standards they are insane, bloodthirsty, and vicious. But if you were to ask one of them (not that anyone has) they'd tell you that the rules of society that are thrust upon the people are unjust, even oppressive.

The Hellraisers started out as miners, just like everyone else on Orion 6. After a few months of heavy mining there was a cave in, trapping multiple miners deep underneath the ground. A majority of the colonists (including the foreman of the operation) decided that a rescue was a lost cause and they would not waste the resources trying to save dead men. The handful that disagreed were not the type to sit idly by and let their friends suffocate in a dark hole. The foreman tried to prevent them from going, with force, and they returned in kind. The resulting conflict was bloody, but the miners got to their trapped comrades in time to save them.

In the aftermath, the colonists put out a warning against these murderers, they were to be brought in dead or alive. Instead of trying to hide within the cities on the planet, they ventured into the badlands and forged their own society.

Today, they are a group of bloodthirsty bandits and scavengers, according to colonists. Of course, that's not how they see it...

Completely unrelated to the Hellraisers, some Military Police hardsuits based off of Tiboblok's design.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Weekly Rundown 4/16/12

And here's your weekly rundown!

The MFZ Flickr group has been blowing up with builds lately! Here's a few that in my opinion stand above the rest.

Golden Meanie has put together some really cool terrain Here and Here. I'm definitely going to be taking some inspiration from those, especially how they nest with each other for easy storage!

BobMFZ is putting together some really slick variants on the Chub and High-Leg. I really dig the gun on that chub.

Check out this awesome looking station by c0d3monk33! (who has a blog on tabletop terrain at the aptly named

Remember those racecar inspired mechs from sagethe13th? He's posted some breakdowns of them here and here.

tiboblok put together this really badass comm tower for use as a station.

triple_ought's Ogre frame is not something I'd like to run into in a dark alleyway.

and A Yates has a couple of really slick looking stations too.

The poll is done! The Serpent Legion thanks you for your support and cooperation. And the new poll is up!

And we will leave you with one of the newest prototypes from the Serpent Legion Skunkworks!

Keep those muscle cylinders warmed up!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Economy of War

The Atlas Labor frame is the primary labor frame used by the colonists of
Orion 6. Extremely durable and easy to maintain, this frame still sees
use as a makeshift combat frame by some resistance members.
As the Solar Union expands it's empire out into the galaxy, the Union needs to be pulling a profit to continue doing so. Joshua described how this all goes down recently in the Mobile Frame Hanger forums. Here is the segment where he goes into some detail:

Empires put a great deal of energy into their expansion. It gets harder and harder to expand but, of course, Every linear expansion of the empire brings an exponential increase in the costs. It's just not clear what those costs are. The Solar Union is a 20th century-style soft empire. The colonies don't technically have their goods stolen; they sell them to the SU. But the SU hasn't allowed them full participation, in that they're straight up poorer. So the SU sets a "fair market price" and will only pay that — or at least "recommends" it to the corporation in charge of a particular expedition. On Quall, that corporation backed up that price with force. It's a price the SU can't afford to exceed and the colonies can't afford to get because, locally, the value of those goods has skyrocketed as they exhaust them, either by using up rare resources of by being unable to produce more without further investment.

The "abandonment" phase comes when a colony's resources have become worthless on the market because other, newer colonies are better at producing those resources. That means older colonies can't trade the goods they have for the goods they need. The Free Colonies have started setting up a parallel economy, the existence of which is a direct threat to the SU's power structure. It will have (is having? How's this going on Orion 6?) the effect of increasing the prices of the goods the SU needs because there are other buyers — other colonies. That's a direct threat to the SU's ability to continue to feed its people.

The Ijad factor into this because the only thing stopping them from being like the SU is an ethic that hasn't been challenged for millennia. The last time they had an emperor-like entity, it went very badly and they learned the lesson. No one has been able to succeed at such a venture since due to their religious prohibitions that just keep such ideas from ever catching on — until the colonists showed up on their doorstep. Let's see how long their resolve lasts. What they want is to be as big a pressure on the SU as the SU is on them so it simply goes elsewhere. That means establishing colonies in other solar systems...

Transit gates are like little colonies, yeah. Think of them as port towns; reliant on shipping for all of their goods but those produced by their immediate neighbors. When you use a transit gate to send matter or data to another solar system, it's pretty imprecise. You probably don't exactly hit orbit. And you sure don't want to try to get so precise that you lit atmosphere because who knows what your incoming velocity will be. So you go for moon distance and see what you get. Having another transit gate at the other end makes it far, far more precise. A solar system with a transit gate can bring in materials bound for any body in that system. They take years to build, yes. When a colony is established, it's the first thing a colony has to pay for. They have to feed and equip themselves, too. So they start off in debt, but with the promise of riches of their newfound colony. They start producing to get out of debt, then find the value of their output dropping, and still have to support the colony, its expensive transit gate, populated and operated by locals but policed/defended by the Terran Transit Marines. I'm sure some colonies are now considering scrapping their transit gates for the resources they contain, which furthermore makes attack less practical, but eventually those colonies will be lost to history, unable to even communicate between the stars.

To answer the question of how this is going on Orion 6: Things are getting messy. The sheer number of valuable resources on the planet has kept the cost of maintaining a Union presence within acceptable levels, while the abundance of materials that the colonists can trade to the newly formed Federation is high enough where they can get the supplies they need to fight for their independence without too much trouble.  

I haven't gotten too much into how the Ijad fit into all of this yet. Let's just say they have a more subtle influence on the events on this barren world...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

MFZ has been officially kickstarted!

The Kickstarter has finished with a final count of $82,499! First off, congrats to Josh, Soren, and Vincent for putting together such a wonderful game that has gathered so much support from this exploding community that is developing! I'm happy to be a part of it. Secondly, There has been a recent avalanche of cool stuff being put together as backers are now getting those pick-a-brick and bricklink orders in. Let me take a moment to give you a quick mid-week rundown of some of the cool stuff that's been popping up.

Sagethe13th has put together a pair of really badass frames with racecar inspirations.

Micah Bauer is still at it with his brilliant C6 system. His latest creation being a bit larger and more detailed.

MacLane's tiny little missile bot is one hell of an artillery frame.

A Yates's Badger has a really badass torso, and LOOK AT THAT GUN.

And Malcom Craig yet again puts together a phenomenal frame.

Joshua also spilled the beans on the Serpent Legion's Special Custom Chub in his last update. The ST-07SLC "Fat Snake" designed by Soren. Soren is designing a few more of the Serpent Legion's frames and I'm excited to see what he comes up with. I'll be sure to post them here when they're finished!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The ST-09 Iguana

Here's the rundown on my latest addition to the Serpent Legion's war assets. I built this guy using the core of a Squieu Mini-Frame and and the torso is inspired by Malcom Craig's Lansen. I've been keeping with my tire kick by working them into the guns on the arms. 

The ST-09 Iguana
Twin Heavy Autocannons 2d6+d8 Rd
Linked Anti-Infantry Machine Guns 2d6Rh
Composite Armor Plating 1d6B

And here's a breakdown.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Weekly Rundown 4/9/12

Another week and another poll down! It looks like you guys want to see more frames and I am going to deliver! As you've probably noticed, I've been putting together a number of frames over the past week. I'm going to try and keep up a similar pace for a while as well as pointing out some of the exceptional builds popping up throughout the MFZ community. Speaking of...

Micah Bauer has thrown together a few more awesome C6 frames, the Heavy Ordnance Tactical (HOT) Frame, the Combat Armored Biped (CAB), and the Quad Legged Armored Walker (QLAW). He has also been kind enough to put together a very cool looking list of all the C6 pieces.

Zeekhotep has a bunch of really cool builds going for his Crimson Commandos on his blog.

Ironsniper has put together what I think is a stunning little frame with a frog on it's head.

Tetrajak has put together a stellar frame with some really cool joint work.

And DrWatsman is up to his old tricks again.

MFZ was at PAX East over the holiday weekend. MantisKing has a brief rundown of the MFZ related events that transpired on his blog.

Also, the Kickstarter project is about to hit $70k!! Congrats to the entire MFZ team!

New poll is up!

The Hunchback

Since the arrival of the Serpent Legion on Orion 6, the usual converted labor frames and makeshift weapons were not enough for the resistance militia to hold their own. A group of engineers came together to create Orion Heavy Industries in the hopes of building mobile frames for the militia to push the Solar Union's forces out of the Orion system. After reworking the Meerkat that had been used by the Trident in the initial battles with the UMFL, they began working on a completely original design, the Hunchback.

The militia had a dire need for a front line combat frame with solid firepower, durability, and the ability to coordinate attacks with it's squad. Orion Heavy Industries delivered. The OHI-04 Hunchback is an extremely durable and reliable frame that uses parts from mining labor frames at it's core. On the outside however, is a plethora of composite armor plates, two high velocity, high rate-of-fire sub-machine guns, and a communications uplink to give other militia members a bird's eye view of the surrounding battlefield. 

Akimbo Spectre SMGs: 2d6+d8Rd
Composite Armor Plating: 1d6B
Communications Uplink: 1d6Y

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Underneath the Hood: Special Edition the X13b

So as many of you have seen, one of my more recent creations is the X13b-Grand Naga (Seen Here). I've finally taken one apart and took some shots of the barebones frame so that all you wonderful MFZ fanatics out there can try your hand at building one of your own (or your own kickass variant). So here ya go! If you do something with this, please let me know. I'd love to see it!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Getting to Know Orion 6

Serpent Legion Intelligence Report
Classification: SI1

Planet: Orion 6
Length of day: 37 hours
Length of solar orbit: 462 days

Climate: Arid with temperatures ranging from 125 degrees Fahrenheit during the peak hours of sunlight during the summer and dropping to roughly 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the night in colder months.

Terrain: Large deserts and badlands. Very small amounts of vegetation and water volume.

Settlements: There are four major port cities on Orion 6, each is a mecca for trade, legitimate and illegitimate alike.

Current UMFL Presence: At this time, the UMFL has 2 major firebases and multiple outposts scattered throughout the planet's cities. The only major city with no UMFL presence is Niflhel, which is the headquarters of the Orion Milita and home to many of the Resistance Cells that operate across the planet.


The Orion Militia has begun production of dedicated combat frames in the past year. The most common of these frames is the mkII Meerkat. While similar in loadout and combat capability to the UMFL's ST-07 Chubs, the Meerkat ditches extra armor for additional speed making them ideal for hit and run tactics. 

These are extremely versatile frames pilot, do not underestimate their capabilities.

Spectre SMG: 3d6Rd
Heavy Knuckle: 1d6Rh
1500hp Twin-Turbocharged Engine: 2d6G
1x SSR

Structure of the Serpent

The XF-13b Grand Naga is a deadly foe in close-
quarters and urban environments.
The Hierarchy of the Serpent Legion
The Legion is not your typical UMFL division for a number of reasons. The largest reason being that it technically has no ties to the UMFL whatsoever. As it is privately funded, the Serpent Legion is the known galaxy's largest PMC. Who funds such a high-tech, elite army? No one knows his real name, but he is known as the King Cobra.

The King controls the Legion from the shadows, issuing orders to his three Division Generals who are in command of Python, Viper, and Rattler Divisions. Each division is in command of roughly 750 mobile frames, 6,000 infantry troops, and 150 armored vehicles, although generally most of those forces are stationed within the Sol system. Much smaller numbers have been deployed to the colonies. In fact, there are only about 500 known Serpent Legion frames outside of Sol.

Most needs of the Union are met in the colonies by the UMFL. In the rarer cases when the UMFL is not suited to deal with the task at hand, an appropriate number of Serpent Legion personnel and assets are requisitioned to achieve results. As one would imagine, forces like these do not come cheap. It is commonplace for the Serpent Legion to set up a forward production facility on planets where lengthy operations are to take place. The Legion prefers to construct a majority of their assets onsite to avoid the costs of transport. Experimental and Prototype frames (like the Grand Naga, pictured above) are psychically sent through the gates to avoid the potential threat of their schematics being stolen by resistance members.

Even if someone other than the UMFL could afford their prices, it's very unlikely an agreement would be made. The King Cobra keeps himself and his organization closely allied with the UMFL as much politically as militarily. The Serpent is devout in it's desire to eliminate the terrorist threat of the Federation and the similar minded Free Colony Resistance Cells. Very little else is known about the going-ons within the organization and it is widely suspected that there are a number of shady deals being done by the King Cobra behind closed doors. But since no one knows who he is, it makes it hard to do anything about it.


With all-terrain wheels and a light composite construction,
The XF-13b Grand Naga is much more agile that it's
size would suggest.
During initial operations on Orion 6, the Legion suffered higher than expected losses within the urban city centers where the colonists had not only better knowledge of the area, but were able to blend into the civilian population as well. Serpent pilots were being lost in quick, close-quarters engagements which needed to be addressed due to the expense (in time and money) of training each cadet. No expense was spared to create a mobile frame that would bring survival rates back into acceptable levels. The result was the XF-13b Grand Naga.

A handful of these advanced frames are currently being used by the Black Adders, a company within Viper Division led by Sgt. Uri Reed, a three year veteran with the Serpent Legion.

High Capacity Tactical Shotgun: 2d6Rd
Molecular Blade: 2d6Rh
Composite Armor Plating: 1d6B
All-Terrain Wheeled Drive System (ATWD): 1d6G

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

This Just In!

Just recently, Mr. Newman was able to score more Garage Kits for the Mobile Frame Zero Kickstarter. There has been a large amount of demand for them, so if you wanted one go and get it now before they run out again!

UPDATE: Garage kits are already sold out! That was ridiculously fast.

UPDATE AGAIN: Garage kits are once again available! Although they are $175 now instead of $150.

Secret Weapons of the Serpent Legion

"You know what the best part of being part of the Serpent Legion is? You get to use all the cool new toys." - Specialist Jacob Hines, Diamondback Platoon

Aside from modifying existing mobile frames in production, the Legion also has it's own mobile frame R&D division with a state of the art research facility on the Jovian moon of Poseidon. These "skunk works" produce and develop new weapons, defensive technologies, mobile frames, and pretty much anything else that can help the Serpent Legion get the edge.

Pictured right is one of their most recent prototypes, the XF-13 Sand Naga. The Legion had found a need for a highly mobile artillery platform since their arrival on Orion 6. Equipped with a HE railgun and a superior drive system, the Sand Naga can get into advantageous positions quickly and dish out the punishment once it gets there.

Resistance reports also indicate there is a stealth frame in use by the Legion. No photos of the frame have been captured and the engagements with the frame have been at extreme range with no visual contact. Is it thought that these frames may be equipped with some form of optical camouflage. Luckily, there have only been a small handful of encounters with this frame, which means it is likely present in very small numbers.

MFZ Stats as pictured: 2d6+d8Ra, 1d6B, 1d6G, 2x SSR

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Stickers, Landmarks, and Fancy Frames

Today, Joshua unveiled the decals that will be included with a number of backer levels and as you can see below, they look sweet.
He also started taking suggestions for additional decals to include. Lots of great suggestions, including battle damage and faction icons But if you want to see something, make sure your voice is heard over there.

But the bigger news at hand, is that the project has reached $50,000. What does that mean? It means that Joshua is going to also write up and release MFZ roleplaying game rules. I love that Josh and the gang are continuing to pull more awesomeness out of their bag of tricks as they continue to exceed their new goals. 

In other Kickstarter related news, one of the $400 level backers backed out yesterday, which means there is a Joshua AC Newman custom company still up for grabs. After seeing some of the ideas that have been tossed around for these custom groups, I highly suggest doing it if you're able to afford it. UPDATE: that backer reward has now been claimed.

Speaking of custom builds, I recently pulled together a prototype of something I plan on using.

A nice little scout to cruise through the badlands with don't you think?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Custom Job

The first poll has ended! It looks like most of you will be creating your own thing, and recruits joining up with the Free Colonies are at record numbers as well! I've got a new poll up today, and I want to know what types of things you'd like to see more of on this blog. Please use the comments section here to let me know if there are other types of posts you'd like to see! Happy gaming/building, keep those muscle cylinders pumping!

Building on a Budget

There are no doubt plenty of people who would love to play Mobile Frame Zero but are unwilling or unable to shell out the money for the parts to build chubs or other great looking frames. Luckily for them Micah Bauer has come up with an ingenious solution, and it's called Component Six (or C6).

The premise is that each of these mechs can be built with only six different pieces, all of which are extremely common to anyone who has some legos laying around. As of right now he has three mechs put together, and here they are:

I hope that he keeps the designs coming, because this is a huge draw for people that are building on a budget.

The Trident: Resisting the Reach of the Union

IG-88's programming lives in the Bastion just in case you were wondering.
A Trident Resistance Hit Squad
"This is our home and we've had enough of you Union scum pillaging through it!" -Leon Decker, Trident Resistance Leader


When the colonists on Quall rioted against the Union, it sent ripples through the rest of the Union colonies across the galaxy. It was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back and let to mass aggression against the Solar Union and UMFL. Resistance cells began popping up across the colonies, much to Union military superior's dismay, and they showed no signs of giving up or giving in.

Shortly before the riots on Quall, the colony on Orion 6 was founded. Orion 6 is a world rich in valuable ores, so rich in fact, that the resources on the sixth planet could build an entire fleet of ships with full brigades of mobile frames held within. This is why the Union founded the colony on desert planet, and began strip mining it. Cities began springing up on the planet, with spaceports being the main hub for each region on the planet. The ore was flowing back to the Union in droves and everyone was happy, until Quall...

News of the riots reached the Orion system and the colonists knew what would be next. Martial law, oppression, the constant eye of "big brother" over their shoulder, all from a government that was ripping out the resources that their land had, and taking them without any compensation. This, they wouldn't stand for.

Leon Decker, a strip miner from the southern hemisphere, organized a group of resistance fighters from among the miners and port workers around him. They took their labor frames and with the element of surprise, managed to wipe out the group of UMFL soldiers who were in charge of guarding the mine. The attack plan involved three strike teams all hitting at once, which Leon called a Trident attack. Word quickly spread across the barren planet of Leon's "Trident" and it didn't take long for the small group to gain near full support from the colonists. Mechanics and engineers used a combination of labor frames and salvaged or stolen Union parts to create forces more suited for fighting a war. Before long, the Trident had become a force that numbered in the hundreds and from them, the Orion Militia was formed. Leon and his close companions officially remained independent from the militia, however they are given weight in the ranks as if they were top brass.

As the years rolled by, the fighting continued. The Union sent more UMFL representatives to recruit and establish firebases on the planet's surface. They even called in the Serpent Legion, the most feared and elite division of the UMFL, to eliminate the Free Colony resistance on Orion 6. It looks like the Trident has their work cut out for them...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Weekly Rundown 4/2/12

Every week I'll be giving a quick rundown of some of the MFZ related items of interest from the past week.

- Roger over at the Mobile Frame Hanger forums put together a wonderful review of one of the $5 lego creator sets that has some pretty good use as either a budget option for building an army or just a quick way to get some useful parts.

- The Mobile Frame Garage has a nice list of interviews with Joshua AC Newman about MFZ. You should go listen!

- The Wiki is growing! Don't hesitate to head over and contribute!

- New Poll will be up tomorrow! Long live the Free Colonies!

And with that, I leave you to enjoy the rest of your weekend with a nice little mini version of Metal Gear Rex by Mark D. Stroyer.