mechaton: giant fighty lego robots!

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  MECHATON: Giant Fighty Lego Robots!
« on: March 08, 2009, 10:14:59 PM » by Ianator is Gaius Baltar.


What is Mechaton?
Mechaton is a miniatures wargame by D. Vincent Baker. It is focused on the construction (and subsequent demolition) of robots made of LEGO bricks. It's also blissful in its simplicity and can be played in quite a short time.

What do I need to play?
First, you'll obviously need some rules. An early playtest version can be found here, or you can buy the standard rules in PDF form here for six bucks (including any future revisions).

Next, you're gonna need some dice. In quite a few colors. I'm talkin' about 14D6, including two white, six red, and two each in yellow, blue and green, plus some red and green D8s and a few D10s. You could just use regular D6s and D8s and roll them separately if you really wanted, but you'll lose out on the fun of tossing a whole pile.

Finally, you need your robots! The rules include a simple frame design, but if you need to make it nice and pretty there's plenty of inspiration on the Mechaton Flickr Group, and you can pick up all the pieces you need from Bricklink or LEGO Factory. Of course, you don't necessarily have to use Lego, or even robots!

Awesome! How do I Enormous Hurt?
First, you build your mechs, which is done in modern versions with the easy-to-use Attachment system.

Each mech starts off with two White Dice, which represent the chassis. These can be used to replace low rolls for attachments, or cover for attachments you don't have. If a mech loses its white dice, it is destroyed! Of course, a "naked frame" can't really do much, so each mech has four spaces for the following attachments...

Weapon Attachments allow your robot to do more than just punch and kick with its bare limbs. Each attachment gives two Red D6s and must be dedicated to one of three ranges: Melee (really close), Direct (kinda close) and Artillery (not-so-close). You can also take "Big Rockets", which are one-shot D8s and take up half a space each and hit at Direct-Artillery range. Keep in mind that no mech may have more than three attachments' worth of weapons!

Defense Attachments represent shields and armor, and give a Blue D6 towards the reduction of incoming attacks. Movement Attachments include rocket boosters, wings and extra legs and grant a Green D6 for moving about the battlefield; units without any ranged weapons also get a Green D8 so as to facilitate close-range smashing. Finally, Spotting Attachments such as radars and command units place a Yellow D6 on an enemy unit; another unit may use this in place of a poor Red Die roll, and it ignores Defense to boot!

Initiative Dice are what decide what mechs go first in the turn, though anything after that isn't set in concrete (more on that later). Each mech starts with one D10, plus another D10 for every attachment slot not used, so there's a benefit to not loading every mech up with four attachments.

Finally, it's time to set up the battlefield! Each player gets a number of "Stations", depending on how many players there are. The objective is to tag and capture your opponents' stations and destroy their mechs while keeping them from doing it to you! What's more, the game uses "Points Per" scoring, which reduces the points you get from objectives if you have more units - which means that even mismatched forces can still have a reasonably fair game!

And then there's the cascading Initiative. It works like this: when Gundam A attacks Zaku B, the target must roll its dice and assign one to Defense. After Gundam A's turn is finished, it is now Zaku B's turn, no matter who's next in Initiative! This adds an extra tactical layer, as not only is Initiative not set in stone, but that big mech with three guns is likely to have its revenge before the end of the turn!

Finally, the Doomsday Clock. More than a simple timer, at the end of the turn each player may choose to tick the clock down, which a winning player will do to reduce the time their opponents have to take the game back!

Linky-dinks
anyway. - The personal blog of Vincent Baker, the game's creator. Mechaton updates can be found here.
Mechaton group at Flickr - Post pictures and discuss techniques!
Dices are not for eating! - The gaming blog of Uriel Johan, Swedish Mechaton Extraordinaire... in English! Features hacks such as Hijacked! and Gun Fleet.
Mechatonic - Probably the most awesomest Mechaton blog ever, with articles on both mechs and gaming.
No B.S., just A.B.S. - Another Mechaton blog, focused on mech construction.
Penny Arcade Forums - Point and laugh as we attempt a Play-by-Post game, only to peter out before the end of the first turn!

And with all that... Discuss.

Who is Gaius Baltar? HE'S THE FRAKKIN' PRESIDENT!
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  Re: MECHATON: Giant Fighty Lego Robots!
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2009, 11:33:04 PM » by Ash Rudel aka Blackjack
Deadly legos....
Well thats a new one.

Obachan said this.....My evolution is faster than the light. Nothing in the whole universe can keep up with my evolution.
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  Re: MECHATON: Giant Fighty Lego Robots!
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2009, 02:34:23 PM » by Ianator is Gaius Baltar.
Is it really?

Anyways, I guess the point of this topic is, would anybody be interested in an online version of this (IRC, Play-by-Post, VASSAL)? Far as I can tell, the game is plenty fun even without the whole LEGO-robot factor.

Who is Gaius Baltar? HE'S THE FRAKKIN' PRESIDENT!
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  Re: MECHATON: Giant Fighty Lego Robots!
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2009, 09:50:25 PM » by Joshua He might be a little empty headed.
Haha. Reminds me of the games I'd make up for my friends. Of course, my rules were always quite simple and improv (along with the story) and I only used d6 dice. Or coins. Heh. And my robots (or whatever the theme) weren't as pretty. Oh well, they got the job done. Fun is the name of the game, right? :)

To answer your question: Nah, not interested. :)
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  Re: MECHATON: Giant Fighty Lego Robots!
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2009, 02:10:46 PM » by ChrisABlair
I have mIRC, though I really don't know how it'd work...

Sweetdiculous!
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  Re: MECHATON: Giant Fighty Lego Robots!
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2009, 09:25:31 PM » by Hearthy2009
               What do you call the opponent robots of Mechaton?


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  Re: MECHATON: Giant Fighty Lego Robots!
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2009, 01:33:56 AM » by alaras
Meh, I'll stick to PbP Mekton
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  Re: MECHATON: Giant Fighty Lego Robots!
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2009, 01:45:14 AM » by Ianator is Gaius Baltar.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2009, 01:47:50 AM by Ianator »
Care to direct me to one of these Mekton PbPs, alaras? I've had the rules for a while but never actually played.

Who is Gaius Baltar? HE'S THE FRAKKIN' PRESIDENT!
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  Re: MECHATON: Giant Fighty Lego Robots!
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2009, 01:53:31 AM » by alaras
There's a Macross one with openings at www.macrossroleplay.org/forums that I enjoy, but that's the only one I know of.  None in the actual Mekton universe that I'm in.
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