Sunday, February 23, 2014

LEGO Power Digger Review for MFZ

The Box

 Review system established by Mantis King with additional material expanded by me.

The Instructions
So simply but, I love this set. It makes me wonder if LEGO is actually paying attention to MFZ and helping in subtle ways liking making sets like this that can help bring character to a battlefield. Right off the bat I grabbed three boxes because I knew I wanted one of each build on the table. Even started to give me some ideas of 'local uprising' but we will cover that a bit later. So far I have seen this set carried by Target, Wal-Mart and TRU (with TRU Tax). Now off to the races! *cough couch* review I mean!

Can you build a frame, or frames, right away?
Yes, I built two of them in fact. One is a sad looking little walker that I am not sure anyone could use BUT also made a neat looking wheeled frame which is a variant of the bulldozer variant build. +5 points

Sad Frame is Sad
What's UP
Double Zap!
Can you build a terrain right away?
Yes, the construction vehicles could easily be generic terrain but might one to count 2 or 3 pieces as one brick other wises it might take a lot of hits to blow it away. Also each build might be a decent station in their own rights, how else you going to build a new base? +5 points

Is it below, at, or above the golden ratio (10 cents per piece)?
$4.99/64 = 7 cents per piece so below! +5 points.

If you can't build a frame right away, does it have parts you should be able to put into use right away?
Straight Forward Yes for +5 points.

If you can't build terrain right away, dose it have parts you should be able to put into use right away?
Not for natural but for some kind of structure most definitely or a station. +5

Does it have more than a handful of immediately useful parts?
Absolutely for both terrain and frames. +5 for both!

The Pile is the Pieces Left over After Build
See Above Caption
So our totals!
Frames: 20 for an +A
Terrain: 20 for an +A

Wow, I didn't realize this could be a could set for frames (hope you like yellow). Nothing I built was very specially but just for raw parts still awesome!

House Rules: The Natives are Restless! (not yet play tested)

So with the purchase of this set came images of people using it to defend their homes from frames, either invades or just tired of getting in the crossfire. These rules will focus more on the 'tired of the crossfire' idea.

First lets give some stats to our construction vehicles which all of the same stats. First give them One White Die, One Blue Defense Die for being built tough, One Green System for having 4 wheels and a Melee Red System but I would suggest using just one 8 sided die. This is to represent lack the lack of built for combat/skill of users but these machines still have power!

When would they go in a round? That is an important question.

1) They have a special turn going first until all the construction vehicles have gone. Activation would happen as normal including chains.

2) Split their special round in half go first and the other half go last, if uneven then the larger group is last.

3)Assign Construction Vehicles asset values, players take turns controlling them each round. With the suggested build I would recommend that every two vehicles count as a frame with 7 systems.

Of course you could just treat them as regular frames then just treat there asset values normally they just don't have SSRs.

Now you can have our civilians acting from turn one chasing after the nearest frames but there could be a few options; you can even have them in a hat to be picked at random to keep it interesting.

1) The civilians start fighting back from round one!

2) The construction equipment is on site and won't come 'to life' unless some kind of perimeter is breached (use something to indicate this like perhaps some kind of fence).

3) The active when a frame gets within Direct Fire Range.

4) Doomclock!  Pick a die (d12?), at the start of each round roll it. On a 1 the construction vehicles become part of all rounds from then forward. At the start of each new round at a +1 to the activation range i.e. Round 1 active on a 1, Round 2 active on 1-2. Maybe have the + be equal to the number of times the Doomclock is ticked down?

Certainly could be interesting or could be used in a special scenario, and will admit still very rough.


  1. I absolutely love this set. Both Darksyntax and I did SSC posts on this. It's a great starter set for quick builds:

    1. Thanks for sharing R25, will check out the forum posts.

  2. Hmm... It looks useful... maybe. I really wish they had sets like these in different colors. Like one in blue would be right up my alley. There's some basic grey/black/white/transparent pieces though that would be useful.

  3. As mentioned above, I was able to squeeze three different frames out of this set (and stations to go with them), but some were clearly better than others. This is a great MFZ set, but I found it lacking in two areas: 1 the wheels are pretty much a waste, but are the only real "gun parts", and 2 the lack of 1x1 round bricks, bars, etc to make weapons from.

  4. Well I think the reality is other countries are most likely going to have a different Golden Ratios. Clearly the "Mantis System" Golden Ratio is based on USA prices. If the Power Digger and presuming similar sets are costing you $8 AU, I am presuming you are also have higher looking prices on your polybags and bigger sets.