Tag Archives: malcolm

MgR-808 Karma

MgR-808 Karma, top

Originally uploaded by jed_september

Finally got around to taking some photos of this. Built a few weeks ago, but due to travela nd other commitments, I’ve never actually done anything with it. Nevertheless, here it is.

Based on the mini-frame by Squieu, I find it nicely poseable and chunky, but not too large for use with Mechaton. There are a nuch of other photos of it on my Flickr pages.



Back with a scam

SKAM – Anti-Personnel Combat Robot

Originally uploaded by krush!

You might have noticed a certain absence over the past few weeks. I jetted off back to Scotland to see friends and family, leaving poor old Simon to hold the fort all by himself. Normal service will now be resumed and Simon won’t have to bear the burden of doing all the updates on Mechatonic.

We have some exciting stuff coming up in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled.

In the meantime, I found this SKAM Anti-personnel Combat Robot very engaging. Take away the minifig and you easily imagine it as a Mechaton scaled walking tank.

And I’ll hopefully be posting some photos of a couple of new mechs I’ve been building. Just as soon as I get another sheet of black card. Then I can finally show off the Karma and the Gundog.


Campaign: Third Battle

To refresh the memory, you can check out the campaign backstory, campaign map, campaign goals, the account of the first battle and the account of the second battle before you get started.

This was the battle where I get the criteria and decided that it would take place at the spaceport held by Richard’s off-world mercenary forces. There would be a restriction in place that no artillery could be used because of the sensitive nature of the site. The special objective was a newly arrived senior mining engineer, sent by the corporate employers of the mercenaries. So, the objective multiplier would be Mining x1.

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Building Buildings

Village Ruins set

Originally uploaded by nnenn

One thing we’ve paid a lot of attention to here on Mechatonic is the building of mechs. Obviously they are one of the really cool parts of Mechaton. The joy in building your own little army out of bits and seeing them victorious in the battlefield is palpable.

However, we have paid scant attention to the terrain of that battlefield.

A lot of the time, you want to create buildings quickly and easily, just to provide cover and character on the playing table. As a rogue hit is going to blow holes in the concrete, a lot of the time you might not want to spend time creating anything too fancy or good looking. But, really nicely designed building can add a lot of feel and character to the landscape.

Let’s look at the buildings shown above, created by Nnenn. Nnenn is mostly known for building an amazing range of startfighters. But his skills don’t just stop there. These buildings are for a game of hovertank combat, but they are ideal for mechaton. The detail is incredible and the unified colour scheme adds a lot of character.

What size your buildings are will also depend on thef scale you play at. Our games tend to feature mechs about three to four bricks tall, with a normal sized person being one and one third bricks tall (a single cylindrical brick topped with a round 1×1 plate). The Nnenn buildings would be a little small for that scale. For the scale we use, the good old fashioned 2×2, 2×3 and 2×4 bricks see a lot of use in creating structures that are in keeping with the size of the mechs and the people around them.

Using colours that reflect the nature of the building also helps to add to the overall look and feel. Our last battle took plave at a spaceport. The hangar buildings were built in a predominantly white colour scheme, with blue and lime highlights. Subsidiary buildings such as the control tower, radar building and munitions store were built in sand. Finally, staff housing was built in blue. Most of the buildings were clustered, so they looked unified and purpose built. Adding people and vehicles can also make things look really dynamic and exciting. Microscale trucks, aircraft and spacecraft make the battlefield less blank, less of just a place where a fight is happening and more of a place where there is something to fight over.

So where is all this going? Well, I’d like to think that we can spend some time looking at aesthetics of our playing areas as well as just the appeal of the mechs we use to destroy them. I’ll certainly be making an effort to hunt down interesting and cool microscale buildings on flickr, MOCPages and Brickshelf, as well as posting some photos of our own designs.

And if you want to see possibly the most amazing microscale city ever, check out Shannonia



MgN-302 Heavy Assault Squadron

MgN-302 Heavy Assault Squadron

Originally uploaded by jed_september

Dropped behind enemy lines to take and hold defended positions, the units of a HAS are up-armoured and up-gunned versions of the standard MgN-302. The specialised nature of their mission means that they are compromised in terms of maneuverability and endurance. If a HAS is not relieved within a few hours of capturing an objective, the chances of them escaping are minimal.

A large order of dark grey pieces from Bricklink meant that I could at last build a unified squad of mechs in this colour. I wanted them to look ‘army’, hence the preponderance of dark grey.


The Sickness of Campaigning

The third game in our current campaign went down last night. But that story is for later.

Campaign games are both great and horrible at the same time. We’re currently enjoying seeing how the story progresses, the ebb and flow of fortune on the battlefield, the fiction that is being created around the forces and their achievements. That stuff is all good.

What isn’t good is what the campaign is doing to us. And by us, I obviously mean me. I’m not by nature a competitive person. One of the reasons I love Mechaton is that you can build some stuff, play a game and it’s all fun amongst friends. I just don’t care who wins or loses, it’s just good fun with some Lego, a table, friends and a few beers. Now things are getting different.

I find myself getting angry when I have a poor run of luck on the dice. I find myself getting really, really concerned about coming out of the game with a good result. Worst of all, I find myself turning into a rule nitpicker. Like last night, right at the end, Richard had rolled a good Spot but hadn’t declared it before he rolled. We had a bit of a discussion and, because it could have meant the difference between winning well and losing badly, I insisted on the letter of the law.

That is what is known in detailed Mechaton terms as a dick move.

Sure, Richard should have stated the spot before rolling. In the end, it’s a damn game, what does it matter? Why was I so insistent that he follow the rules? Because I have become, through the simple campaign guidelines, invested in this series of games. That’s a great thing for a games design, to get people involved. On one level, it’s also great for our campaign. On another level (the one that I actually worry about), I don’t like the way it changes me as a player when I am at the table. I want this game just to be fun, I don’t want to be the idiot who gets upset over dice, who is finicky about rules.

The campaign will continue until the bitter end, but I’d suggest that I need to become less invested in the outcomes, for the sake of all concerned and because I am making the game less fun for everyone else.