Conpulsion 2013

This last weekend Joe Murphy and myself did some Mobile Frame Zero facilitation at the Conpulsion games convention in Edinburgh. Chastened by our lacklustre scenery last year, we planned well in advance and created tables that – while maybe not the acme of fancy Dan LEGO design – were functional, attractive, and playable.

Both of us chose to style our tables quite differently. I opted for a spaceship that had crashe din the jungle and was in the proces sof being hacked apart by Free Colonial salvors:

“Crash Site” Table, Day 1
Conpulsion 2013: Mobile Frame Zero Demo Tables

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MFZ Support Frame Design Contest: The Results

The wait is over. The results are in! The first inaugural grand all-star Mobile Frame Zero Support Frame design contest and tea dance is complete!

On behalf of the judges, I’d like to note how difficult this contest was to assess. There’s been lots of behind the scenes discussion and wrangling over the results and honourable mentions. In the end, it was an exceptionally tight contest with little to separate the top designs. What was interesting was the wide range of choices that the judges made. No two judges presented the same top ten lists in the same order. The standard of the contest was exceptionally high and we’d like to thank everyone who submitted an entry (or entries.)

So without further ado, we present the top three. Let me reiterate, there was precious little between these builds, a many of one or two points in our scoring system.

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They’re Here!

Recently, there have been some exciting things happening with Mobile Frame Zero. For one thing, the book is now off to print. For another thing, two excellent builders have started posting images of their frames again. Greg Strom (Mitten Ninja on Flickr) and Afny (funnily enough Af/ny on Flickr) have re-joined the community with some cracking photos.

Sunset showdown outside New Thebes
Sunset Showdown outside New Thebes is a lovely little diorama showcasing the Ermine Company and the Dogs of Tharsis.

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Mobile Frame Ship Zero: High Seas (pt.1)

One of the great things about a simple, elegant rules system like Mobile Frame Zero is that it lends itself so well to other applications. I’ve seen people talking about using it for fantasy battles a la Lord of the Rings; spaceship combat; modern military combat. One thing I haven’t seen, however, it using it for naval warfare.

Escort CarrierThis line of thinking has been inspired by a number of wonderful microscale Lego ships such as those scattered about this article. Most of these aren’t much bigger – or more brick intensive – than your average MFZ frame. Ships also lend themselves to the attachment based system of MFZ: close in defence systems (melee weapons), gun turrets (direct fire weapons), missile launchers (artillery weapons), radar systems (spotting), hydrofoils (movement), and so on.

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Why, you yellow son of a….

This post is brought to you by the colour yellow. It’s not one of the more common building colours in Mobile Frame Zero. Certainly not as the dominant colour in a build. Yet, there are a lot of MFZ appropriate bricks out there in yellow and it can be used to create fun, exciting, slightly cartoony builds.

Marauder (V2)
This model of a Battletech Marauder by Pascal perfectly captures the look of the original, while also have the distinct stamp of the builder. It also lends itself well to use in MFZ, with its combination of playability and poseability. As Pascal has noted in the comments, you can find his build instructions for the Marauder right here.
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The Support Frame Design Contest

To celebrate the imminent release of the Mobile Frame Zero book, we’ve decided to hold a contest! Mechatonic, the MFZ Flickr group, and key people behind the game will be hosting a competition. Oooh.

And here’s what it’s all about…

Support frames: ammo carriers, fuel tankers, medical units. They aren’t things we see very much of round these parts. But that’s all going to change. This contest asks you to design and build a support frame, covering any non-combat role you chose. It can have weapons, but combat MUST not be its primary function.

The contest runs for one month from today and each person can submit up to TWO frame designs. The deadline is midnight (UK time) on February 3rd, 2013. Designs must be submitted to the snappily titled Support Frame Contest Submission thread. Your finished frame must be able to fit into a box with maximum dimensions of 8×8 studs square and 8 bricks high (for the sake of clarity, this means your frame can be up to 8 studs wide, 8 studs long, and 8 bricks high. Or it must at least be able to fold into that space.)

The prize will be a customed designed MgN-333, coloured and equiped as per your individual specifications.* The finished build will be shipped to where ever you are in the world. Plus you also get a piece of custom art showing your frame AND a fully detailed set of PDF instructions. How about that?

The entires will be judged by a shadowy cabal made up of MFZ designers Joshua A C Newman and Soren Roberts, plus long time Mechaton/Mobile Frame Zero enthusiasts Joe Murphy, and myself.

So, get designing!

*I have to place some restrictions on colour choices: for example, old dark grey is ruinously expensive. However, the winner willbe able to have a chat and negotiation the colour scheme and attachment specification that they want.

Mobile Frame Zero: Gone to Press

The good new today is that Mobile Frame Zero has now gone to press. So, well done to Joshua, Vincent, Sebastian, Soren, and all the artists, editors, and contributors who’ve made it happen. Sometime in the next couple of months us lucky Kickstarter backers should be getting our hands on the finished book. Hurrah!