BSK2014 MFZ:RA Poorly Documented Demo Extravaganza!

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BSK2014 MFZ:RA Poorly Documented Demo Extravaganza!

Postby Red_Robot » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:27 pm

June 6th was the opening day of Berserkon 2014 in Duluth, MN, and after weeks of giddy expectation (not just gaming alone but DAYS OFF!) I arrived early at the convention center to set up my table for running demos of Mobile Frame Zero. I condensed my kit down as much as I could, which consisted of a large bin of selected terrain bricks and bits, a bin of assorted frame companies, and a couple toolboxes with even more frame companies. While vendors set up nearby, I sat and smooshed together some terrain and chatted up interested passers-by. This was old fashioned busking type of stuff.

Most miniature games have a certain factor that draws the eye, but there is something about LEGO that draws people in and puts a smile on their face.

ImageMFZ:BSK2014 by Red_Robot_XIII, on Flickr

    This was my shingle for enticing the curious.

ImageDEATHPOD COMES FROM THE SKY! by Red_Robot_XIII, on Flickr

    This was the battlefield before the frames arrived to stomp muddy footprints everywhere and leak a bunch of cylinder fluid on everything. I usually love to break out the baseplates when I play MFZ, but for the sake of the demos, I wanted people to see they can play on the dining room table with a few different bricks for terrain. I also wanted something that was visually interesting and seemed to tell a story at first glance. So here we have an eerie sickly green pod surrounded by dying brown foliage. Someone has taken the trouble to fashion a makeshift perimeter of hedgehog barricades at the edge of the withering zone. What's in the pod? Why are the plants dying? I don't know but it's definitely worth fighting over!

The first crowd gathered for the 1:00 pm kickoff, and I placed a variety of two frame teams around the edge of the table and encouraged the players to take a seat behind the teams they wanted to play. I showed them how to read their company tracking sheets and explained some of the basics of what a mobile frame is. And then I set them loose!

ImageDemo Game 1: Round 1 by Red_Robot_XIII, on Flickr

    Nando fielded the Grey Team.
    d6Rd d6Rd d6B d6Y d6G d6W d6W
    d6Rh d6Rh d6B d6Y d6G d6W d6W d8G

    Mike fielded the White Team.
    d6Rd d6Rd d6B d6Y d6G d6W d6W
    d6Rd d6Rd d6B d6Y d6G d6W d6W

    Dave fielded the Blue Team.
    d6Rd d6Rd d6B d6Y d6G d6W d6W
    d6Ra d6Ra d6B d6Y d6G d6W d6W

    Zach fielded the Red Team.
    d6Rd d6Rd d6B d6Y d6G d6W d6W
    d6Ra d6Ra d6B d6Y d6G d6W d6W

    All rotating activations in that order.

And they were off like a bunch of wriggly puppies...wriggly puppies with 20mm autocannons and laser guns. The group for the most part started taking shots at each other, while ignoring the neutral station in the middle. So the strategy from the beginning was "I may not win, but I'll make you lose!" Each team got in a few licks, and then we came to the Doomsday Clock. Giddy with their power over time, a couple players decided to tick the clock down taking us from 5 to 2 in one round.

ImageDemo Game 1: Round 2 by Red_Robot_XIII, on Flickr

    At the beginning of Round 2, most of the teams had closed up around the hedgehog barricades. The mysterious pod was within running distance.

    (Oh, and that frame laying on it's side in the background? It's not dead, it's just resting.)

By round 2 people were starting to figure out that claiming the station in the middle was the key to beating all the other trigger happy chabbers. The players also got to witness the power of focused fire and clandestine alliances as the White Team fell into the crosshairs of both the Grey and Blue Teams. Grey fired upon the White Team, and White used its combat activation to make a lunge towards the Blue Team's artillery. When Blue Team's activation came around, they took advantage of the spot on the White Team frame and reigned fire from on high, resulting in 5 damage on the already wounded frame. Grey managed to make it to the pod, but so did one of Red Team's frames, making the station contested and thus unclaimable. The Doomsday Clock ticked down one, and the Blue Team clicked it down again. Game over, man! GAME OVER!

Final Scores
Grey Team : 10
White Team : 5
Blue Team: 10
Red Team: 10

I ran a couple more demos after that, mostly 1-on-1 duels, but failed to document them in the least. The games went quick but after every one there was a bit of lounging and decompressing. I passed the hard copy rulebook around, and talked about the Hangar and where to shop for bricks. I even met a fellow who knew the game, had backed the Kickstarter, but still had never played the game. I invited him back for the championship game the next day.

And then my time came to an end. I gathered my bricks and bushes and packed them away. There were still games at the con I wanted to try. And tomorrow was the big game I had been anticipating for weeks.
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Re: BSK2014 MFZ:RA Poorly Documented Demo Extravaganza!

Postby Ced23Ric » Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:23 am

I just came a little over those super simple, yet effective tank barriers.
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Re: BSK2014 MFZ:RA Poorly Documented Demo Extravaganza!

Postby Blorf » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:38 am

Well done! I like the barriers, too. Maybe throw in more cover made of multiple bricks, because everyone loves blowing it up.

Red_Robot wrote:Grey managed to make it to the pod, but so did one of Red Team's frames, making the station contested and thus unclaimable.

Whoever got there first claims it and gets the points. They can't lose them unless they leave it or are destroyed. Stations only become unclaimable in rare situations involving 3+ players where the original owner has left.
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Re: BSK2014 MFZ:RA Poorly Documented Demo Extravaganza!

Postby whiteboye37 » Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:13 pm

Once I figure out how to post pictures, or rather size down the ones I have I'll be able to post a match. This game on the other hand with 4 people must have been chaos lol. And game over man game over is a nice throw back
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Re: BSK2014 MFZ:RA Poorly Documented Demo Extravaganza!

Postby Dukayn » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:04 pm

How high are those tank traps and bushes? Do they count as cover or is the whole middle of the field open?
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Re: BSK2014 MFZ:RA Poorly Documented Demo Extravaganza!

Postby Red_Robot » Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:15 am

Blorf wrote:Well done! I like the barriers, too. Maybe throw in more cover made of multiple bricks, because everyone loves blowing it up.


I put the rock spires around the edges and filled the middle with low, one-shot cover because I wanted to encourage people to run for the pod rather than hole up behind cover midfield. I will admit, however, the LEGO greenery, being all one molded piece, doesn't blow up quite as well as a multibrick wall, and putting them over on their sides take up about as much space as they do standing up.

However I came up with a compromise that I thought was pretty fun. I had a small bin of "tree confetti" that was made up of 1x1 round plates in brown and green, some 1x1 round bricks in brown, and some of those three pronged "stem" pieces. Whenever anybody blew up a tree or bush I let them take a pinch of "tree confetti" and scatter it where the shrubbery got pruned. You can just see a few bits of it near the Grey Team in the Round 1 photo. Not sure where it went in the second round photo. I either didn't catch it because of my camera angle or somebody cleared away the confetti when they were collecting dice between rounds.

Whoever got there first claims it and gets the points. They can't lose them unless they leave it or are destroyed. Stations only become unclaimable in rare situations involving 3+ players where the original owner has left.


By golly you're right. I must have thought it acted differently being a neutral station. Now I feel chagrined. Thanks for the correction.

Dukayn wrote:How high are those tank traps and bushes? Do they count as cover or is the whole middle of the field open?


Everything on the field is (barely) three bricks high. All the bushes. All the trees. The tank traps. And even the sloped conical vents. So there is actually a -LOT- of cover on the table. But it is largely of the flimsiest kind. Since the trees and bushes are all one molded piece I ruled they counted as one brick. So they were all one shot. The vents were the same way. The tank traps can take two hits before they lose structural integrity. The first hit takes out the 6 1x1 bricks on the top prongs, then the second hit takes out the travis brick at the core.

I will admit the tank traps are pretty neat, and I need more of them. I got the design from a diorama somebody posted on Flickr of the storming of the beaches at Normandy.
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Re: BSK2014 MFZ:RA Poorly Documented Demo Extravaganza!

Postby FragsturBait » Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:10 pm

I will admit the tank traps are pretty neat, and I need more of them. I got the design from a diorama somebody posted on Flickr of the storming of the beaches at Normandy.[/quote]

I stopped reading and built one the moment I saw them. I was going to let you know I was borrowing the design until I read that you borrowed it yourself.

If you want an example of creative commons at work, LEGO is about as pure as you can get IMO.
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