Monday, November 18, 2013

Mobile Frame Zero Tournament at Denver Comic Con

Things are starting to fall into place for the first official Mobile Frame Zero Tournament, which will be held at the Denver Comic Con this upcoming summer (June 13-15). We've already secured a couple of sponsors for the tourney (which includes some cool prizes to give away as well), and I've been working with Josh to put together a set of rules for the tournament as well. As of right now, the tournament rules are as follows:
  • All participants must register their company (maximum of 8 frames) prior to the beginning of the event.
  • The frames in your company may not be reconfigured once registered (with SSRs being the only exception).
  • Before each match, each participant must choose a number of frames from their company to field. Once these frames are chosen, they cannot be changed for that match (except in the case of tied starting scores).
  • Terrain will be set up by tournament officials.
  • First and second round matches will be three player skirmishes, with the winner advancing. In the case of a tie, both players will advance to the next round. If there are ties, second and final round matches may consist of four players.
  • The final round will be a three player battle, with the winner taking first place and the remaining players taking second and third relative to their score.
That should give you a good idea of what we will be working with for the tourney (so those of you who like to get a good head start on things can get cracking on their companies now), but things may change slightly as we come closer to the event. Terrain and tables will be set up prior to the match starting so the only thing participants will need to bring will be frames, stations, dice, and rulers. Speaking of tables, Kreator Hobbies has kindly offered to supply gaming tables for the tournament. If you were out at Rocky Mountain Con a few weeks back, you got the chance to see one of their prototypes up close and personal. If not, You can take a look at their Kickstarter (which hasn't started quite yet) to get a good idea of what they will be putting together. Regardless of your game of choice, these tables are going to be absolutely sweet as they are completely modular and will be much more affordable than most dedicated gaming tables out there.

Not only has Kreator offered to supply these tables for the tournament, but they will be giving out a Gaming Table (type yet to be decided) to the grand prize winner! Also, all participants who reach the championship table will receive a custom piece of artwork of a frame of their choice from RyujinDX, who has done a number of pieces of artwork for the MFZ rulebook! Other prizes and goodies are still in the works, but chances are there will be something fun for everyone that plays in the tourney as well!

I'm getting really excited for this event, and I hope you are too! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tactics Talk 11/13/13

After playing a hefty amount of games in the last month or so, I've made a few observations that have changed my tactical thinking a bit. This "Tactics Talk" post is not a full in depth post about specific tactics like my Tactics101 posts, but a group of smaller points discussed in bite sized portions.

Defensive placement is vital. I know I've mentioned this before but its worth mentioning again. When placing your stations try to deny as much of the table as possible to your opponents. If you can make them place their frames/stations in vulnerable positions, you've made a huge step towards victory.

Playing as the secondary attacker seems to be the easiest position to play from. You don't have the score and placement disadvantages of the primary attacker, and you don't have the whole table gunning for you like the defender. However, your asset value is generally high enough to snatch the lead pretty easily, and you can manipulate your opponents a bit here and there to make sure you stay under the radar until you do.

The soldier loadout is arguably the best loadout in the game. Now this isn't to say that specialized builds aren't necessary or efficient, but a core of three or so soldiers makes an extremely effective backbone to a company. With one of every system, they tend to have really solid rolls for each action and don't stand out as much on the table either, making them low priority targets compared to that double arty double spotting frame over there.

Also, things are starting to fall into place for the first official MFZ tournament at the Denver Comic Con next summer. I'll have a more detailed update in the near future, but it looks like Mr Newman will be coming out to help run things as well as sign some books and we will have gaming tables by Kreator Hobbies for the tourney and possibly for the grand prize.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Alpha Bandit

This, my friends, is the first playtest ruleset for Mobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit. Before I go into any detail about the whole thing, Here's the link to download it. Now, I will warn you that the thing is only four pages long, and doesn't describe everything needed. But it gives you a really good idea of some of the mechanics that will be implemented in this MFZ Space Combat expansion.

There are a couple of really cool ideas, and a number of tidbits that are revealed through this playtest document. One of them being the fact that there will be frame companies in space. They hang out with your ships and can be "catapulted" to objectives and other ships to either capture them or do some damage. These frame companies can have an "Ace" which can be of any color except white (Red, Blue, Yellow, Green) and they all grant a d8 of that color and a special ability. How these will all play out is still a little fuzzy. but it should be really cool to see how these frames help shape the battlefield in the cold depths of space.

Another few things of note, the ruler for Alpha Bandit is 10 units long (instead of the standard 8 for Rapid Attack), and the click hinges actually are a part of the movement and maneuvering mechanics. For each maneuver point (your green die result) you can either increase or decrease your current movement by one, or click the hinge one click. Your ship must follow the ruler in it's movement. This means that ships will not be able to turn on a dime and will require some extra tactical thinking to get the most out of your positioning.

There isn't an official "scale" for the ships yet (at least if there is, Josh hasn't hinted at it yet). But from some of the stuff Soren has put together in the past for MFZ we can assume it'll be somewhere around stuff like this:

There is still a ton we don't know about Alpha Bandit, but it is awesome to see that the first "expansion" to MFZ is coming along. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this develops.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Building With Landscripts

Landscripts have quickly become one of my favorite builds as of late. As I've stated before, they are a total hybrid of Soren's Conscript and Malcom Craig's Landmate builds, taking the torso structure of the Landmate and using the arms and legs of the Conscript. The build takes, what I feel are, the best features of both builds and meshes them together into a really slick, versatile, simple, and sturdy little frame.

The core of the Landscript

The Conscript is a great frame, solid, and simple. But it lacks some flare, which makes sense since it is supposed to be a converted labor frame. The Landmate, however, has flare to spare, but is pretty part intensive (4 traivs, 2 t-pieces, tiles and wedges, etc) and wont stand on it's own unless everything is positioned just right. I also feel that the arms on the Landmate are fairly limiting, while the legs are actually very versatile, but can have weak connections unless all the pieces have a nice, snug fit. The Landscript takes that simplicity and solid feel of the Conscript and adds the flare and style of the Landmate.

This is the core of the build. It's pretty much identical to the center torso of the Landmate (which can be seen here) with the exception of the tile clip facing forward in front to hold the lampholder for the hips and the from panel of the torso. Then, after taking and attaching the arms and legs directly from the Conscript, the only thing left to add is a couple of clip plates to the droid torso to help fill out things and cover the small gap between the cheese wedge and the jumper on the front of the frame.

The other really nice thing about this build is how customizable it is. There are tons of places to add clips and such to nearly anywhere on the build. I mean just look at all these possible hardpoints. Even beyond this you can replace the bricks on the legs or arms with a studded 1x1 to add more places to put equipment. Needless to say, you have options.

Update: Dukayn has been awesome enough to put together some PDF Instructions for the Landscript. Thanks Duke!

Friday, October 25, 2013


Not too long ago I threw together some frames that used the torso of a Landmate and the arms/legs of a Conscript. Hence, the "Landscript" was born.

Since I put those guys together, a number of other builders have followed suit with their own Landscript builds. Good ol' Malcom Craig threw these together, meshing the Landscript build with the style of Ybliss' Force Intervention Planetaire to great effect.

Force Intervention Planetaire - Francs-tireurs

Dukayn took a few cues from Malcom and put together a landscript for his 133rd.

133rd Landscript

Neoaez76 then used the same template to build his own version with a cool asymmetrical torso and slick little backpack. 

MFZ - UMFL "Gecko" Squad Landscript

Then XGundam05 brought his personal style to the build as well with this awesome rendition.

[Landscript] Colin's Pewter Arm

All in all I'd say the Landscript is catching on. I'd love to see more people take this thing and make it their own! 

Game Night at the AQ

Last night I was over at the Adventurer's Quarter playing some MFZ. We got a couple of good games in before close and got another few people into the game. As I had mentioned on the forums, they are now carrying rulebooks, rulers, and a small inventory of Chubs in store, which has already made it easier for newbies to get into the game quicker. I took a number of photos from the games, so I just leave those here for you to check out.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bricklink 2.0 Coming Soon?

So, has anyone else noticed this on Bricklink?

I'm wondering if this new maintenance screen means that the new version of Bricklink is coming sooner than we thought. Regardless, I'm really digging the new sleek look that they're working with!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Tactical Order vs Combat Order

One of the most difficult aspects of Mobile Frame Zero to grasp is tactical and combat order. I'm going to go in depth on this set of rules to try and explain them.

Let's start with Tactical Order.
Per Pg 90 of the rulebook, "The round begins in tactical order. In tactical order, always start with the player with the highest score." At this point there are no frames activated and no pending "combat chains" so the action goes to the player with the highest score, the defender.

The defender has two options, activate a frame, or pass. If the defender passes it then goes to the player with the next highest score. If they pass it goes down one more, and so on until it reaches the player with the lowest score. They cannot pass and must activate.

Once a frame has activated, it declares it's target and rolls it's dice. After assigning dice and making an attack, the defending frame declares it's target and rolls and assigns it's dice, unless the frame has already acted this round. The attacking frame then resolves it's turn and then the defending frame resolves it's turn. If the defending frame attacks a third target, that frame may also activate, causing a combat chain which is what is considered Combat Order. This is when frames act out of Tactical Order due to attacks made against them. Once the combat chain is resolved and there are no more frames who need to finish their turns, things go back to Tactical Order, going back to the player with the highest score (which may have changed if a frame was destroyed or a station was captured).

Lets go through an example.

The defender has the highest score and activates Frame A in Tactical Order, and declares Frame B as the target in direct fire range. After rolling it's dice and assigning them, Frame A attacks Frame B. Frame B then declares an attack on Frame C, then rolls and assigns it's dice. Frame A finishes it's turn, dealing damage to Frame B if applicable. Then Frame B acts in Combat Order and attacks Frame C. Frame C declares an attack against Frame B and rolls and assigns dice. Frame B finishes it's turn and deals damage if applicable, and then Frame C acts in Combat Order, attacking Frame B. Since Frame B has already acted, after Frame C finishes it's turn Combat Order ends. After Combat Order ends, Tactical Order begins again, allowing the player with the highest score to pass or activate.

If Combat Order never begins (for example the frame attacked has already acted), immediately after the frame finishes it's turn you return to Tactical Order. This means that the defender could, in theory, activate every one of their frames without anyone else at the table getting a chance to activate theirs.

Hopefully this helps clear things up for you. If you still have any other questions, feel free to ask!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Creations for Charity Update

Creations for Charity has opened up their Bricklink store and has begun selling their donated creations today! Even if you're not into MFZ, there are some really awesome models for sale from some very talented builders.

My Pit Vipers, Shorties, and Freedom's Breath companies are still available and are going for $200, $75, and $75 respectively. The Tin Men have already sold, so I wouldn't expect the others to last very long. Get on over there and get yourself some sweet Lego while giving underprivileged kids the same joy you get from this wonderful hobby.

Update: the Pit Vipers have sold! The other two remaining are the more affordable options and are still available.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Feast of Blades Day 2

They got me a fancy badge and everything.
Now that I'm able to actually sit down with my computer and a solid internet connection, I can finally upload some shots from my actual camera (instead of my crappy phone cam) and go into a little more detail of the happenings of the con.

I must say, the second day was much more eventful than the first. Even with people tied down to tournament matches, a ton of people made time to swing by the demo and at least pick my brain for a bit if not run through a small skirmish. Everyone who played came away from the game loving it and I can't even count how many times I heard someone say "I can't wait to go home and dig out my Lego to build this stuff!" 

A member of the press group filming rounds of the Hordes/Warmachine tournament came by and completely geeked out. He immediately went and got a camera and filmed while I explained the game to him. Later on, I set up a game on his tournament table with three cameras and lighting all set up and we played an entire game on film! He's going to have to do some editing, but with the multiple camera angles and such it is going to be sweet! I'll make sure to let you all know when that stuff becomes available!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Feast of Blades Day 1

As it turns out, there is no WiFi and absolutely to signal in the main room for feast. Hence the lack of live updates. Here's a bunch of pics from day 1.