Sunday, January 26, 2014

MEGA Bloks Dome Battleground Review for MFZ: RA

Our Big Box!

So let's be straight forward about this review. Our usual review system isn't going to work, even the modified one I use for terrain. This set is very unique, specially with my purpose in buying it so I am just going to talk about but there is some old topics to discuss as well.

The Golden Ratio? I picked this up on sale from Target at $46 or $47 but it looks like it has gone back up on the market for $49.99 so we will go with that and we have 527 pieces in the box. Do the math real quick and we have $0.09 per piece so just a penny under the Golden (aka $0.10 per piece). Now, it is mostly brick which is an interesting camo color which could be a great use for building interesting pieces of terrain or stations along with some very unique pieces that could prove usual for building frames or stations. These unique pieces I am talking about are found outside of LEGOs and will be discussed more in my parts break down.

There are also guns, knifes and a turret to build in this set that at a first glance might be usual because the Call of Duty figures look like they might be the same height as our Chubs, more about this further in the post.

This is most likely the most expensive brick building set I have bought myself and certainly the most expensive one I have bought for Mobile Frame Zero. I saw it and instantly thought it could be usual in getting a start on interesting table terrain. Of course something like this would tap into the expanded rules section of MFZ.
So many bags!
So the parts break down! I am going to make this pretty straight forward by showing pictures and slapping captions on them. First I will start with part layout pictures, starting with a wide shot with following closer shots then up close of the pieces that are unique or very similar to some common used parts from the LEGO sets.
The Soldiers have to be put together...I think I install the hands upside down...
These will make up our dome!
That is a lot of parts. I think it took be longer to make this spread then to build it.

I really like these sand bag pieces, I wish there was more...

Now for our parts close ups!

Here is the crate that came with it, I like it and we will talk more about it later.
Here we have a double sided stud 1x2 plate
Here we have a limited version of the Travis
2x2 Plate with studs on both sides
1x4 brick with studs on all the long sides but the bottom
It looks like a minifigure hand but straight and perhaps a bit longer.
1x1 plate with a rod sticking out
Looks cool...
Their version of the clip piece, the yellow is a separate piece.
Double Sided Peg Pieces and a Missile piece.
So what do all these parts make up to build? They build our dome!

The Front with some Chubs to Help with Scale
 So I just want to say that yes that is a satellite 'dish' inside the dome and that dome rotates which is pretty cool. I put some Chubs on it so we can get some idea of scale. As you can see the chubs are too tall to go under the bars but they could easily be fixed by adding some bricks or just removing them. Though they do seem a bit tall for the wall but again extra bricks could fix it if it bother you. The structure itself is 6 bricks tall so it is elevated terrain within the expanded rules for MFZ.

'Side View' With our turret and yes there is a ladder!

Here is the side view of our set including a shot of the turret. This is also where our ladder is, can you make it past the turret? More about that idea later :)

Back of Set open...and introducing my cat...
Back of the Set Closed
So my over all thoughts? I like it but when I played around with it I found some problems. When closed the dome gets in the way of trying to move frames around on the top. Also the space inside is too tight to move Chubs around. Most likely better off sealing it off. I am thinking of removing the dome and putting on a helipad (and here is your helicopter). With the right bricks added it could look like a base guarded by frames.

This isn't all though, there is more! We have a drone!

For Scale
Honestly, I got nothing. It looks cool but I don't know what to do with it...right now it is looking like parts.

Alright, let's talk about the Chub and the weapons that come in the set for the figures.

Here we have a Chub standing next to one of the figures and as you can see the Cub is very much taller. Looks like it could be a power suit for a guy. The Chub is also holding a machine gun and a knife from the set.

At this angle it is a bit easier to see the scale. I think both the knife and the gun are too small plus I had to take the stock off the gun just to make it fit into the Chub's hand. Though look at that crate!

I love this crates; I like the idea of crates made for frames to open and this looks perfect for that. Wish I could just buy a bag of these things.

There was also grenades (too small) and a trench shovel...
So final thoughts at the moment? I am happy with my purchase and I am looking forward to playing around with it to make it perfect for my needs. What about you MoF0s?

House Rule Special: Turret

So the set comes with a turret and it is something I would like to try to utilize but how? Houserules, that is how! Otherwise it could just be a cool station!

So first, mounted turret: A mounted turret is stationary. A turret first in a fixed 180 degree arch established at the start of game. The barrel of the gun should be used to show the middle of the firing arch. Taking control of a turret follows the rules of seizing a station but a frame must stay within melee range to keep using a turret.

A frame that controls a mounted turret may use the turret's d6Rd d6Rd d8Rd (too powerful?) instead of it's own weapon dice. If a frame is to use the turret's attack system then it must move after the attack. Turrets provide cover. Any confirm hit to a turret takes it out. (Maybe two, with a first hit reducing it to d6Rd d6Rd?).

Automated Turret: Automated turrets use the same rules as turrets except for the following rules. Turrets are not operated by frames but still can be seized. At the start of a game a turret is either allied to a squad (who they won't shoot) or independent (shoots everyone). When a turret is seized it changes its affiliation to the squad that just seized it. In special scenarios it may not be possible to seize an automated turret.

Moving into an automated turret's firing arch causes it turn to activate, shooting at the frame that just entered it's range. Like frames, an automated turret only actives once per round.

Not yet play tested, please let me know if you do!


Saturday, January 25, 2014

LEGO Red Thunder Review for MFZ:RA

The Box

Review System established by Mantis King
So I was walking through Toys 'R' Us to check out there clearance and came across this Creator for this years new line. It instantly caught my eye so I bought two thinking this would be perfect scale in MFZ: RA. So this will be another double review for mechs and 'terrain' which seems to be starting to become my standard affair! We all need a niche.

The Instructions

Can you build a frame, or frames, right away?
Yes, as I proved to myself by building a hover tank but given this set is a lot of plates, still might be hard. Also I have to admit it is a variant of the speed boat. Yes for 5 points.

The Hover Tank I built from the Set
Can you build terrain, station or something else to go on the battlefield besides a frame?
Yes, all three vehicles look to be in scale for the most part but not sure if a biplane or a speed boat would fit on a battlefield very well. The helicopter could be a station with some modifications. "Red Thunder down!" Yes, +5.

Golden Ratio?
I picked this up from Toys "R" Us for $6.99 but everyone else seems to be going for $4.99, we will go with $4.99. $4.99 divide by 66 pieces equals $0.08 so below giving us +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?
Yes, there are a few parts  that are pretty standard affair along with some that could be useful. Yes, +5 points

If you can't build a terrain, station, etc right away, does it have parts you should be able to put into use right away?
Yes, for stations or something down those lines. Yes, +5 Points.

Does it have more than a handful of immediately useful parts for both sides of this review?
YES! +5

Alright, for both frame building and for everything not frame building we get a A+ by the math of the review but my gut is going to say A for frame building because my built frame is a redesign from a vehicle in the set so until a creative proves me wrong (and I welcome to do so) I will recommend A.

Now for the gallery for the different builds in this set next to a chub!

House Rule Suggestion: Fielding the Red Thunder Helicopter

After a comment on the Hanger about the Red Thunder my brain began to turn. What was the comment? 'Actually, I wouldnt be adverse to using the copter as a vehicle or frame itself. And I bet it would be a great set for Alpha Bandit.' by NimbusAConflict.

Now I don't feel like using the exact rules for frames would represent the helicopter the best but I do have a bit of an idea on the subject.

To start the basics I think they be  d6G   d8G  d6Y with only one open system slot to either upgrade or put on an extra system except a melee weapon system. You can add a d6W to represent a skilled pilot or tuned up helicopter. You could also give it SSRs which wouldn't count against it open slot.

Next the helicopter would not be able to take cover BUT as long as it was airborne would be treated as if it was in cover. In addition it would ignore the cover of targets unless the target was under a roof or on elevated terrain. Of course those on elevated terrain would treat the helicopter normally.

If needed, landing or taking off counts as one whole move for the helicopter. If the helicopter has no green dice, it not landing or taking off unless it has a white dice.

Additional Idea: Lift System. The spare system could be filled with a 'lift system'. If the helicopter has a lift system it can grant any frame in melee range a d6G until the end of the round.

None of the above has been played tested. If someone does, please let me know how it goes!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Best-Lock Stargate SG-1 Jack on Abydos Review for Mobile Frame Zero

So I am just going to be straight forward about this. These bricks and pieces are just sad. The largest of the base plates was bent and several of the pieces had mold castings still. Some of these castings were on the inside making places the pieces difficult at times. The feel of the bricks; talking texture here; was very off feeling fragile and week. Basically I am not even bothering using the review system because it isn't worth it.

The only thing of any value in this set is the Stargate itself. The pieces felt better, fit better and over all was a better quality then the rest of the set. I picked this up for $4.99 at My local Target and through everything else away (starting with that creepy figure!) except the Stargate and I am fine with that. If you can get it for less so you can get the Gate then do it but do not pay more.

Ok, I kept this too so I can maybe replicate some of the builds with REAL building bricks!

Why am I bothering showing you the crappy parts?

The gate is great, nice size.
This guy is giving me the creeps...