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[Mechaton] So we played Mechaton today...

David Laurence

Hrm.
Validated User
#1
And it was fun.

(Mechaton, by the way, is a lego "giant fighty robots" wargame by Vincent Baker. You can find out about it here, mostly.)

Since my friend Brennan didn't have legos, we just used the collection of mechs I'd made, plus some stations. (You can see some of my little guys here.) I got the two walkers, plus a couple little tanks I'd made, and he got the 5 "landmates". Basically, each guy gets a number of dice depending on what you put on him - the mechs with 4 legs, and my tanks with wheels, got extra dice for movement, the guy with the shield generator gets an extra die for defense, anybody with a weapon gets extra dice for shooting, and so on. You decide who's the attacker and defender by counting up mechs and attachments and "assets" (mechs plus objectives)

Play is pretty simple (and uses as a basis the original free rules available here) - in initiative order, each mech rolls its dice, assigns them to attack, defense, move and spotting, rolls to attack and damage, and so on. The way the dice work is very clever and, for all the system's simplicity, quite tactical.

I had 4 mechs with 15 total attachments, and he had 5 with 15 attachments, and we each had 3 stations, so I started with 28 victory points to his 48 - quite a defecit to work past! And... I never did. He pretty neatly sliced up my poor mechs with a few solid early volleys, and I had trouble doing much lasting damage to him with what I had left. In the end, I had one (mostly undamaged) mech standing, he had all 5 of his, although 2 of them were reduced to only white dice and a couple more had sustained more damage.

What we learned:

Terrain is way important! We'll have to take the time to make some next time. We should have known better, of course, having played a lot of other wargames, but since this was a quick pickup and we wanted to get playing quick, we skimped. Plenty of terrain plus a bigger board will make movement important as well.

Building your army requires, or at least rewards, a lot of thought - there's a lot of potential depth here, at least some of which (I think) will also involve guessing what you think your opponent(s) will bring. But I think that taking the time to make a well-planned force that works synergistically (I'm thinking a couple speedy dudes with wheels, heavy armor and sensors and a couple heavy artillery dudes to hang back and pound the enemy into the dirt, supported by maybe a couple general-purpose mechs, will work really well) will be really rewarding.

Taking less than max attachments is actually a pretty good strategy - getting multiple initiative dice is pretty powerful.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun and, hey, only six bucks! Well worth it - I think we're going to be playing this quite a bit more.
 

David Laurence

Hrm.
Validated User
#5
But since spending those $6 I've spent nearly $120 on extra Lego.

Not that it's difficult to get me to spend money on Lego, but I can't remember the last time I spent that on wargaming minis!

{edit: Yes I can, it was when Rebel Strike came out}
Point. So have I, for that matter. I'd like to think I'd have spend the money on lego anyway, but I'm not sure. I have a sudden craving for hinges and clips and things that look like guns...
 

Rich Stokes

Registered User
Validated User
#6
Point. So have I, for that matter. I'd like to think I'd have spend the money on lego anyway, but I'm not sure. I have a sudden craving for hinges and clips and things that look like guns...
I have mostly stuff for minifigs. I have, like, tons of different heads and bodies and stuff like that. Plus lots of swords and special guns and stuff. (Have you looked at the specialist Star Wars guns you can get that are custom made? Very cool and probably ideal for those Marine/Land-Mate figs)

So I had barely any bits to actually build anything with. Before last week anyway.
 

David Laurence

Hrm.
Validated User
#7
I have mostly stuff for minifigs. I have, like, tons of different heads and bodies and stuff like that. Plus lots of swords and special guns and stuff. (Have you looked at the specialist Star Wars guns you can get that are custom made? Very cool and probably ideal for those Marine/Land-Mate figs)

So I had barely any bits to actually build anything with. Before last week anyway.
I haven't seen those guns - do you have a link? Weapons that fit that size mechs have been one of my big challenges.

Thinking of cost, though, I think I'm at the stage with my basic Lego collection where I'm going to want to start designing mechs using Bricksmith and bricklinking the parts - it's a lot cheaper that way than getting whole sets. And it's still probably a lot cheaper than "regular" miniatures games, especially for people with Lego collections.
 

monkeyking

Joshua A.C. Newman
Validated User
#8
Oy. Playing without cover! That's like playing chicken!

Use some cardboard boxes or something. I got a big bag of Lego trees on Ebay that we use all the time, and we build lots of destroyed buildings (because they're easier to make than undestroyed buildings).

I like your mecha! It's nice to see my space marines out fighting battles on other peoples' tables. Your Soren-based walker's really cool too.
 

David Laurence

Hrm.
Validated User
#9
Trees! That's a good idea, I'll have to look for a bunch of them. Scads of cover is definitely on the agenda for the next game. Like I said, we really shoulda known better.

The space marines kicked booty, too. They can't fit many attachments, so they get good initiative and you can have a lot of them but not go over on total number of attachments. Thinking of it, I should have even left off the beatsticks on the three "regular" guys and given them each an assault rifle, a shield and an antenna. The blue die would have been a lot more useful than the potential to fight in hand to hand.

I used a couple of tanks based on Soren's chibi fighters, too - I'll have to put pictures of them up on brickshelf next time I'm near my camera.
 

Rich Stokes

Registered User
Validated User
#10
I haven't seen those guns - do you have a link? Weapons that fit that size mechs have been one of my big challenges.
The guy I bought them from was called Sith Somethingorother and I don't seem to be able to find his store right now.

This guy seems to have them though:

http://www.bricklink.com/store.asp?p=heinjan&itemID=2562296

I really can't imagine life without Bricklink.

Joshua: Kudos on the Marine design! I built a squad yesterday. Just waiting to send them into the frey...
 
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