Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack


Mobile Frame Zero Bundle

(you can download it for free)

Mobile Frame Zero PDF

(you can download it for free)

Mobile Frame Zero 001:
Rapid Attack

A tense, tactical game of giant robot squad battle!

Build your mobile frames of LEGO® or other building toys and bring them to the table to fight for control of the tabletop!

How long is a game?

About two and a half hours for three players. I like 3-player games, but 2-player and 4-player games work well, too!

What do you mean, “tense”?

Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack is a game where you never have enough time or material to make your plans easy. When your robots take a hit, they lose vital parts! When you make a decision, you know Doomsday is coming and you can’t take it back! There’s never enough cover to safely get where you need to go!

Do you work for LEGO®?

Nope! We’re just big fans. You might even want to build your frames out of other building toys like Mega Bloks, Gundam models, or 25mm miniatures!

Iron Chubs

You sell kits, right?

We’re leaving that to others, like For players who already have a big pile of LEGO® bricks, there are instructions in the rulebook, and you can get help and inspiration from the amazing mecha designers at the Mobile Frame Zero Flickr group, the blog No B.S., Just ABS, and the Mobile Frame Forge.

Wait, I can download it for free?

I know a lot of wargames cost a ton, but we want to make this accessible like Car Wars, Battletech, and other games were when I was a kid. Creative Commons is the best way I can think to do that. If you like the game, tell your friends! The more players who know about the game, the more will pay for it, and the more games I’ll be able to publish.


Can I play with my kids?

I’ve had a great time playing with 10-year olds. One of my favorite opponents is 11. He crushed me last time by being smart and committed when I wavered.

But it’s fun for adults too?

Anyone who likes tactical wargames and LEGO® will have a great time. It has actual tactical depth and even a little strategic planning of resources. There are reasons to keep your guys together and reasons to split them up, reasons to use artillery, direct fire, hand-to-hand weapons, or even use unarmed scouts. The best players design squads to work together, supporting each other’s weaknesses.

Can I make up my own factions and mecha?

Of course! That’s the point of LEGO®, right? Building what’s on front of the box is fun, but using the parts to make your own stuff is the core of the excellence! We’ll even show you how to make your own setting and house rules.

Who are you?

We’re Joshua A.C. Newman (author of Shock: Social Science Fiction and Shock: Human Contact), Vincent Baker (author of Dogs in the Vineyard and Apocalypse World) and Soren Roberts, one of the Internet’s best-known LEGO® mecha designers. Vincent’s son Sebastian is our apprentice game designer.

I want to know more!

Download the game and play it with your friends! If you like it, come back and shoot me a few bucks. You might want to chat with the MoFØs at the Mobile Frame Hangar to share ideas, ask questions, and learn about building and strategy!

141 thoughts on “Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack

  1. Awesome work! Nice to see other people interested in minis games that are fun and don’t cost a mint to get into. I’m currently working on my own (War of Keys, should be published this summer) and hopefully we can trade secrets.

    PS: I think the most brilliant idea in the rules is using Legos as destructible terrain. Awesome!

  2. Sounds like a really cool idea, so I gave it a download. However, parts of the pdf (the parts in bold, I think?) are just gibberish. Furthermore, each time I open the file, it’s different gibberish; sometimes almost readable, sometimes nearly blank. Anyone know what’s going on here and how I can fix it?

  3. I had the gibberish thing too, turned out it was my PDF reader. For whatever reason it didn’t like the fonts involved. I switched to another PDF reader (without downloading the rules again) and then it was just fine.

  4. This sounds…awesome. I’ve always loved mech combat, but could never afford the ridiculously expensive minis-this is perfect.

  5. Just wanted to ask something-I know the kickstarter is over, but can I still buy a commission of frames? (Yes, that’s the new plural.) And if so, roughly how much would such a thing cost?

  6. When I was younger, LEGO had these little sets called “X-Pods”. On the website, there was an official game called “X-Pod Playoff”. Make little builds, send them across a custom-built mat (via the online flash utility), and take your opponent apart brick-by-brick!

    “Mobile Frame Zero” is that game fully-realised, and I love it for this.

    • YES! I had two of those. You had a points limit by bricks, and they influenced the stats. That’s the first thing I thought of upon seeing this.

  7. Hay I live in Alaska and bought a copie of the book around the end of January/start of February, I was told by the pay-pal confirmation receipt that I would receive the book within one to two weeks, not counting Sundays and holidays its been over two weeks I would like to know where my book is and money went.

  8. “Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack kickstarted
    Posted on March 5, 2012 by wordman
    For its tenth anniversary, Mechaton, a game of giant fighty robots made of LEGO, is getting a revision and a new title. Today the Kickstarter for the new version started. Please help fund it.

    Also, if you have a lot of cash, seriously consider one of the high level awards. Soren Roberts is an extremely talented LEGO designer and the rewards for his original work are rare offers.

    Thanks in large part to prior posts here about Mechaton and LDraw, I’ve been asked to render the assembly instructions for the mechs in this product. Hopefully I can post some LDraw models when the product is published.”

    Taken from:

  9. I know the website now indicates that pre-orders will ship by the end of April, but it this firm? The last time I checked it said the end of Feb.

  10. Hey,

    Your PDF does indeed seem to be a bit messed up. Only working in some viewers isn’t the best. I don’t know what you put the manual together in, but you might want to tweak your export options. All transparencies should be flattened, all fonts embedded and you could probably down-sample images for a smaller file.

    Shoot me a message if you want a hand with it. I’d be happy to help.

    .. oh and the game looks awesome. Good job :-)

  11. Hi – I ordered the book & pdf bundle for my son’s birthday. The PDF downloaded fine but I am wondering when the book will arrive – I see preorders are intended to ship by end of April. Is that just Kickstarter backers? When can those of us who just came by this page and ordered it expect our copies?

    • Ananda, your son’s book is en route. Kids’ birthday games are serious business!

    • Hi, Ross, I’d love to do a UK convention sometime, but haven’t been able to find a way to cross the pond.

  12. This got liked, hardcore. Mecha fan & I still mess around with my Legos on occasion (probably due to Minecraft, but that’s taking things to the Inception route).

    • Regular ones! There’s a discussion about the parts in the book. Download it to see!

  13. I’ve tried viewing the .pdf in-browser and as a downloaded file, but many of the sentences on each page have scrambled letters and are unreadable. Is there a known solution for this?

  14. Hey guys, I’m spearheading a group of lego enthusiasts in Guatemala on their foray into wargaming, as I’ve had experience with 40k. I’m thinking about translating the game into Spanish while becoming familiar with it, with others reviewing my work after I’m done just for debugging purposes (I’ve found a couple of pertinent blogs that belong to bilingual players.). If all goes well, would you be willing to include a version which includes the graphics and the spanish text?

    • Jose FAbian! Hola!

      Estoy tratando de promover el juego en Mexico y muchas de las personas interesadas son niños que todavía no manejan el inglés bien. Lograron llegar a algo con la traducción?

    • Sure! The Creative Commons, Attribution, Noncommercial, Share-Alike license allows you to make translations!
      Please consider, if you like it, backing my Patreon at so I can continue making things people like!

  15. Hi Josh,

    Not sure how to get in touch. Wondering what the back-log is on rules books? Ordered Mid-August. Is there anyway to track shipping? Or is that too fancy. I’m really excited to get the book.

  16. Hi, I’m putting together a kinda ‘designy’ blog about the mobile frames I’ve been working on. It’s written as an “accurate to history” archive of the mobile frame industry. It’s called the MFDF (Mobile Frame Design Federation).

    Could you feature it in the community side bar? I want to contribute where I can! If you’d like to see it, my name links to it.


  17. Great job, very nice design, I’m a lego fan and I’ve done some mecha design that i want to show to the team…(if you like, i obviously give it for free, lego is only FUN)

    Simone (lego fan from italy)

  18. Hi. Just discovered MFZ, and I am speechless… this is so cooolll.
    Wanted to ask you guys if you allow people to use these design for modelling and animation showreels? Obviously with credit to the designers.

    Best wishes,

    John Paul

    • Definitely! And yes, credit for Soren is required and credit for the game is appreciated!

  19. Sorry for getting back so late Joshua. Thanks a lot for the opportuniy of using MFZ designs. Will credit both Soren and post always a link to this website. :)
    I think my first one will be a ‘Chub’

  20. Hello,

    My name is Kyle and I am very interested in your game “Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack”! I noticed your kickstarter campaign was successful and was wondering where you plan on selling your game! We will be launching a kickstarter online game store in the next few months and would love to feature your game.

    Best Regards,



  21. This seems like a truly genius idea. I have a very, very limited LEGO collection, so our mechs may be more similar to tanks than anything. But I can’t wait to get home and repeatedly bug my partner until she agrees to play! :D

  22. Would it be possible to make part lists for each type of mech? that way there can be a base model, and then work it out from there. I like the original designs and wanted to get a list of parts so i could buy multiple parts to be able to create 2 or more armies so i can share with a group of friend. the part lists i found on line were in-complete.

    I’m so curious.

    • Thanks! Glad you’re enjoying it! I had a great time at DCC. Hope I can do it again sometime!

  23. I love your game and mechs guys. I bought a starter pack and…..couldn’t either piece together more than 3 bricks. What would be REALLY cool is if you could get a list up of minimum components for the standard mechs and brick names for the pieces, so that the barrier of entries for noobs is a lot easier to get over. Obviously custom mechs is the way forward but having no lego stash to work on, I’m literally building from scratch.

  24. Do you happen to need a music composer for any future projects? If you like what you see/hear on my website, please contact me via my website.

  25. Picked up the book and talked with Joshua (my name’s Joshua too!). Really excited to get started with this, and plan on running a series of events of it at the library I work at over the summer. One question: do you have a list of LEGO kits that you would recommend as having good pieces and parts for getting started?

  26. I’ve taken a gander through the rules and they look quite interesting, but I’m still terribly confused about how ‘Spotting’ actually works. If someone would be nice enough to explain it to me, that’d be great.

    I figure a question like this is better suited to the MFZ forums, but for the life of me I couldn’t where to create an account. :(

  27. Hi, i purchased a pdf of the game and was wondering if there is a download link for it other than the above. Will people that purchase the pdf get a link that isnt so horrible to download. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    • Hi, update to previous … I was able to download a copy through the link in IE but it seems Chrome is having fits with the link and will not download (DL for 10s then quits). Just wanted you to know and thanks for the great game.

  28. My kids and I recently made a lot of mechs up from my old table top bitz box can we use these or is Lego the best to use? What size are the mechs ? As we have some small and some very large ones.

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  30. So, people at my store have been playing this game a couple of times, with the effect that I bought a pile of Legos of of Ebay. XD I just love the idea of this game and it’s so awesome from a rules point of view.
    As I couldn’t find any e-mail address, I’m gonna ask here: could it be possible for me to buy a couple of rulebook in book form, to be resold in my store (Sotakone Miniatures in Finland)? People here like this game and the fact they could get the rules in book form might help.

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  32. I have bought a copy of the rules and would like to fight some battles at our Tabletop gaming club. There may be an obvious answer to the following question. Are the units exclusively Mobile Frames, directed by humans, or can robots be involved too?

    • Make them whatever you want! Just make sure everyone in the game knows what’s what; like maybe you’ll say, “Any troops with no Green are infantry,” or however you like. It’s up to you! I’d love to hear what you do with it!

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  34. Hello,
    My name is Perry Jacoby. I found your wishlist on brickowl. If you are interested i have almost all of the piece you are looking for. please let me know. My brickowl store name is everythingandthelegokitchensink.

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  36. 1s

    I am looking into buying a large batch of “legos” from china to kit and retail.
    What kits would people be interested in? Chub, Scrambler, something else?
    How much demand is there?
    I would need to sell 1000 units to break even.
    Any input would be appreciated.

  37. Can you get decal sheets or a file or something so you can print one up your self for both games so you can have symbols, etc. to your frame and space craft for for the 2 rule books?

  38. Just found this game. I like the rules. And I was wondering if there’s any specific LEGO kits to buy that have same or similar parts. I’m new to LEGO lol. Good job man.

  39. Hey there! I got to this website via a picture on flickr. I am looking for a strategic battle game for a while now, and MFZ even combines Lego with that! :D I read many parts of the PDF that is super well-written btw. I like how logically and detailed it describes everything, and the stories, pictures, etc make it come alive.
    Unfortunately, the last comment is nearly a year ago, and also Youtube features only a very few, honestly not too good videos. I am from Germany, I expect this to be not good either to find a playerbase… Making the own company (a great part of the game!) would take quite long and especially cost much, so at first glance it seems like the effort would be too high for the current playercount. Or am I wrong there? :P I hope so!
    It would be awesome if someone would reply to this, I was never flashed like this by the concept of a game before. How many people play it? How well-known is it? Are there German players? How long does it take to internalize the basic rules and come to some “real” matches?

    Thx and greetings from Germany :)

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    • (Specifically, I’m using the latest version of Chrome, and it says the PDF file failed to load.)

  41. Also, this site is reading as Not Secure, so I’m not leaving my real email. This may mean I don’t catch replies very soon.

    • Yeah, because the site doesn’t take money, I decided not to Spring for a security cert for this site. The whole company is just me, so it’s all on a shoestring!

      That said, email addresses are public by nature. Don’t put your credit card info here, but your email address is already known to spammers.

    • Fair enough, I suppose.
      On another note, I like the concept of a very accessible, design-your-own-models tabletop wargame an awful lot, but I’m concerned about MFZ’s time investment – keeping track of so many rolls is pretty tricky. Are the forums a good place to brainstorm different rules?

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  43. I haven’t played this, and I may not get to… i’m pretty busy. But I do want to just say I love what you’re doing. When I was a young man in the USAF I had a gang of friends that played Warhammer, and it kind of looked like fun, but also a huge commitment, and I couldn’t get past the fact that I had to spend a hundred bucks or so on an Airman’s salary just to get started, before I even knew if I liked the game. I never did get over that hurdle, and mostly just stuck to blowing my meager paychecks on Magic: the Gathering instead (the other game that was widely-played in my circle.)

    I love how you’ve used an existing thing, that millions of people already have, and put free rules to it. It’s a stroke of genius, and I take my hat off to you. My girlfriend has a three-year old daughter, and when she’s a bit older, I hope I get to play this with her. And if it turns out she or I don’t actually like it that much, hey, we still got a bunch of Lego.

    Fun shouldn’t come with hundreds of dollars of risk, as much as those figures are cool.

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  47. Is it just me or is the average dinging table length listed in this book huge I measured my dining table across and it was 37 inches and the minimum for normal sized games is 64 I also measured the length and it was 76

    • I’ve played on tables down to 36″ to a side. It makes a furious furball, so do what you can to keep your frames together and focused on winning the battle, not just the fight! It definitely works, and Vincent’s table is, in fact, really big, specifically so they can play big games on it.

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