Saturday, August 11, 2012

Mobile Frame Zero First Play

Jonathan and I got in a game of Mobile Frame Zero using the draft rules I got from backing its Kickstarter. I'm really impressed with the game despite our match-up not really capturing all its strengths.

Normally the first step to a game of MFZ is force creation. Each side, and there can be up to five sides, creates its force in isolation. The limits on a force vary based on whether you are going to play a skirmish or a battle, and how many people are participating. We were playing a two player skirmish, so each side could have 4 to 6 mobile frames and 3 stations (objectives).  

Each frame can have from 0 to 4 attached systems, with each system being either defensive, movement, surveillance, or attack.

Since we were using the two forces I'd put together a while back, we skipped this step and moved on to calculating the asset value of the forces I'd constructed. This led to our first problem.  I'd created two forces that while not identical, were the same size in terms of number of mobile frames and total number of attached systems. This was a problem because we didn't get to see how the system handles asymmetrical situations, which is supposed to be one of its strengths.

There is a rule for dealing with this situation that forces asymmetry, but despite looking for it multiple times, I somehow kept skipping over it. The way we ended up resolving it worked, but I think it probably gave Jonathan a significant handicap in play.  We simply rolled off to see who started with the initiative. The fact that I kept it the entire game after winning the roll supports the idea that doing it that way gave me an advantage.

Carnage in the middle of the table near the end of the game.

Once we started playing we did most things right, and the actual play was a lot of fun. The action order was a little tricky to grasp at first due to an interrupt mechanic that can trigger the actions of a string of mobile frames that haven't gone yet whenever one is targeted that hasn't yet had an action that turn. Once that had happened a couple of times though, it was quite simple to deal with.

There were only two situations that I can find that we handled wrong in play. First, we were overly generous to the attacker when determining cover.  The rule of thumb in the game is to be overly generous to the attacker when determining line of sight, but to be generous to the defender when determining cover. So let the attacker take the shot if he can see any of the defender, but give the defender cover if any part of it is behind suitable cover.  

The other situation was one that I had to go onto the forums at the Mobile Frame Hanger to find the answer to. Whenever a mobile frame takes damage during the middle of its action (which happens a lot due to the interrupt mechanic I mentioned above), that damage doesn't take affect until after it is done taking its action.  We got that right. What we got wrong was that there's an exception in the case were a mobile frame is completely destroyed in the middle of its action. In that situation the mobile frame is destroyed immediately and does not get to complete its action.

I'm really looking forward to playing this more now, and to getting the final version of the rules. My only reservation is that due to the nature of LEGO, I probably won't be taking this off my property to play. Too easy to lose the pieces. For now I'll just have to host any games I play in.


Jabbott said...

Super fun and now I'm going to see if my parents still have LEGOs in a closet or something.

Adesazz said...

Count me in next time you guys run this. I will bring to you now the Enormous Hurt.

Mantisking said...

Looks like you had a fun game. Please keep posting about MFZ. :-)

Post a Comment