|Mobile Frame Zero Book|
(you can download it for free)
Mobile Frame Zero 001:
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!
You sell kits, right?
We’re leaving that to others. To find anyone building commissions or assembling kits, you’ll want to ask around at the Mobile Frame Zero Discord 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.
And there are 10,000 more at the Flickr group!
Who are you?
We’re Joshua A.C. Newman (author of Shock: Social Science Fiction and Shock: Human Contact) and Vincent Baker (author of Dogs in the Vineyard and Apocalypse World). 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 because making games is my living and you want me to survive to make more and better games. You might want to chat with the MoFØs at the Mobile Frame Hangar and the Mobile Frame Zero Discord to share ideas, ask questions, and learn about building and strategy!
153 responses to “Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack”
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!
Thanks for the great feedback. Enjoy it, and best of luck with your endeavors!
This kickstarter looks pretty relevant to this site.
Question do the offensive players still have stations
Absolutely. You don’t necessarily get to stay on the offensive.
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?
We’ll look into this asap. Will hopefully have an answer for you today. Thanks for the heads up!
This appears to be a problem with the PDF reader, and not with the text itself. Try a new reader and everything should be shipshape!
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.
This sounds…awesome. I’ve always loved mech combat, but could never afford the ridiculously expensive minis-this is perfect.
This looks amazing. Definitely reminds me of my days kludging up Car Wars models.
I cant paint tiny models. i am terrible at custom models and alterations. rubbish at making terrain. so Warhammer and warmachine be damned. This game is my scene now.
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?
There is a real possibility that this is the best game ever.
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.
This is so ridiculously rad – I just bought two garage kits and a copy of the book! :D
That’s awesome. Thank you!
Hey guys… what should I do if my address has changed since I’ve purchased my physical copy of the book??? I’m no longer at my old address….
I tried to download it and it just opened up in a new window with no dload options. What am I doing wrong?
Got it. But thanks anyway!
Are you guys bringing purchaseable books to Conpulsion?
If you’d like to fly us there, sure thing! Otherwise, it’s too far to travel. :)
Aha, I picked Conpulsion’s news up as you guys were coming. Will try and get some games in tho.
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.
As so often happens with Kickstarter projects, delays lead to delays, but progress is ever forward! Please see the Kickstarter updates for news!
My completely noncommitted hope is that shipping will start this week, but the budget is annoyingly knife-edge.
The pdf doesn’t work on the ipad with either Good Reader, iAnnotate or iBooks. Quite frustrating :(
Got it working by printing the document in a pdf virtual printer, effectively flattening the whole document.
Whoa! Brilliant! I’ll try that!
Is this a remnant of early MoF0 or a blatant ripoff?
That looks to be a very early version of Mechaton which was the precursor to Mobile Frame Zero.
Ahh very cool. I was curious about that. Thanks!
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.
Cam, I sure hope so! We’re working hard!
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 :-)
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!
are you guys going to be at the uk games expo? http://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk/
Hi, Ross, I’d love to do a UK convention sometime, but haven’t been able to find a way to cross the pond.
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).
what legos do you use for this ?
Regular ones! There’s a discussion about the parts in the book. Download it to see!
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?
Hey, David, I’ve finally gotten around to fixing that file. See if it works now!
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?
Creative Commons, man!
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 http://Patreon.com/Joshua so I can continue making things people like!
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.
Hi, Peter, I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you before. Have you gotten your book yet?
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.
Hi, Jace, what’s the link? Can I take a look?
It’s kind of a convoluted URL, sorry about that.
Sure! I’ll put it up!
Peter from the above comment: http://mobileframezero.com/mfz/#comment-235
Nah, still nothing. I got international shipping to New Zealand, which usually adds a couple of weeks, but it’s been about 8 now. If you need more transaction details is there a way I can email you?
Yes, please, Peter. I’m Joshua at glyphpress.
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)
A me piace molto vedere i tuoi frames! Lasciami vederli e li posterò sul Twitter!
where I can send or pubblish?
You can email my first name at glyphpress.
My son and I played our first-ever skirmish with my father in law today after building mechs yesterday. We LOVED this. Thank you thank you thank you. What an amazing two days you gave us, and I’m sure many more in the future. Writeup here: http://www.powerpivotpro.com/2013/12/holiday-bonus-post-mobile-frame-zero/
Definitely! And yes, credit for Soren is required and credit for the game is appreciated!
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.
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
can we make our own names for our company?
Found the Mobile Frame Zero booth at Denver Comic Con, love it!
Point of interest, the official Lego website has a feature called Pick-a-Brick these days from which you can buy a wide range of individual parts.
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.
Do you just have a list of game rules, instead of a huge file with tons of backstory?
Fmmmlee, you can jump straight to the rules section, if you like! They’re all in a row, in the order you’ll need them.
You might also be interested in MFZ:Condensed! http://mobileframehangar.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4510
I picked this up at Denver Comic Con. I love the artwork and the story bits in the rule book.
Thanks! Glad you’re enjoying it! I had a great time at DCC. Hope I can do it again sometime!
Awesome, I might just get into this.
Its really a fun game
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.
You should hit up http://mobileframehangar.com/index.html ! Those guys will help you out.
Mecha are awesome always can’t wait to pilot one lol!
i like the idea of bringing game combat in to lego but not a lot of people played
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?
Got to get the Fleet ready for the invasion.
Hey i’m gonna make a new you tube channel please vote and subscribe and like
Maybe if you tell me what it is?
watch this it tells you https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HDtUkTH4DE
even though it is kind off out dated. (:
very cool models!
where did you get all the bits from? do you have a link to a special / favorite shop? thx
Usually, I get my parts from Brick Owl and Bricklink.
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. :(
This is where you register for the Hangar.
If you have any problems just contact me.
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.
do you think i could use hero factory to make a mech
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.
AWESOME!!! I love LEGO and strategy games. can’t wait to play!
I love this idea. Awesome but I live in Vista ca. Do you have groups where I can meet other player before I commit try it out?
Head over to mobileframehangar.com and ask in the Game Finder forum!
Super awesome I loved this game! mechs are awesome1
[…] began as a slight departure from my normal mecha alt fashions of particular person Mixel units for Mobile Frame Zero after I constructed the primary one from the Orbitons units after being impressed by two fellow […]
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.
[…] tabletop nights I can campaign for this again because dear god I want to play it. It’s called Mobile Frame Zero and it’s a mech combat game except you can use just about anything for the mech models […]
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!
How does one get a copy of Alpha Bandit?
I see ways to buy the original game but waht about the followup?
You can now get it from the glyphpress store! https://glyphpress.com/talk/product/mobile-frame-zero-002-intercept-orbit
[…] what about a tabletop war-game like Mobile Frame Zero? I submit that this is a great way to spend an afternoon. Small sets can easily take the place of […]
Are there alpha bandit rules?
Yep! You can get Intercept Orbit at the glyphpress store! https://glyphpress.com/talk/product/mobile-frame-zero-002-intercept-orbit
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.
[…] and adults. Perhaps the only way to make both these things better is to combine them. Enter Mobile Frame Zero, a tabletop game where both your armies and the terrain are built completely out of LEGO® […]
Is there a PDF option, or is it a physical product only?
Oops, I mean for Intercept Orbit.
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.
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?
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.
Also, Could you use 1/144 scale gundam models?
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 :)
Question: Are we allowed to use Zoids model kits or Bionicle parts for building Mecha/Frames?
And can we use Danball Senki parts as well?
[…] à la découverte mi-août du jeu Mobile Frame Zero, nos 2 jeunes loustics avaient envie de compléter leur collection de briques et figurines LEGO® […]
Hey, I can’t seem to get the free download links to work. I googled for mirrors and found:
But since I don’t have permission to access the /downloads directory by itself, I have no idea if it’s legal. Help?
(Specifically, I’m using the latest version of Chrome, and it says the PDF file failed to load.)
Huh. They seem to be working fine for me. I dunno! Sorry!
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?
[…] to tabletop war games as well, since my kids love Legos and have recently expressed an interest in Mobile Frame Zero. What do you think? Are any of you interested in that type of content? Let me know down in the […]
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.
[…] You read that right. Check out the Kickstarter here. […]
[…] interested in Mobile Frame Zero, there is a large and active fan community. You can get the game here, in PDF or print-on-demand. You may also want to check out the Mobile Frame Hangar forums and the […]
[…] Mobile Frame Zero […]
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.
[…] remembering some of those colourful landscapes and big revolvers. I’ll also have a go at Mobile Frame Zero, a tabletop wargame with robots built from Lego. I’ve not played tablewars in this millennium […]
[…] smile remembering some of those colourful landscapes and big revolvers. I’ll also have a go at Mobile Frame Zero, a tabletop wargame with robots built from Lego. I’ve not played tablewars in this millennium but […]
[…] I was mostly a stalker on anything LEGO and LEGO robots. Often reading about this thing called MFZ (Mobile Frame Zero) over at an art blog, I became increasingly reinterested in an old toy that […]
I wanted to know if there is a height and size limit cause i just found this game and could not find any mention of hieght of frames or size of them if you could email me back i would like to know
Nope! Establish it with your friends however you see fit. The community at large has generally settled on a 10x10x10 box as a max size, but that’s not dictated by the rules. However! Note that getting bigger than that will make your frames more vulnerable, and getting much smaller than that will make it hard for them to get in range of their targets.
[…] Si vous ne connaissez pas MFZ : Mobile Frame Zero visitez leur site : Mobile Frame Zero […]
[…] give you… Mobile Frame Zero. (And if you’re not a big nerd, well, you may just want to stop reading right […]
[…] without the army building: 1812: The Invasion of Canada Cry Havoc Rivet Wars Mobile Frame Zero Star Breach Battlelore Gaslands Root […]
[…] Weapons systems, legs, canopies, and more. I’ll admit, this makes me want to dig out my Mobile Frame Zero rules. I think they may fit together […]
Your project came up in discussion on another Kickstarter, might be fun and useful to check out that would go incredibly well with this game.
Gonna see how easily I can put the two together if i get any free time.
[…] Learn more about Mobile Frame Zero here. […]
[…] to empty my wallet to play”. Well, me too. A while ago some cool guy made this game called Mobile Frame: Zero. the premise is simple, you have teams of mechs, tanks, etc and they fight. This have not only […]
Hi Guys, I hope all of you are well and getting by. Just wanted to say that your work is great and that my family is enjoying building and playing a lot. Thanks and good job.
Hi, there! Will you be so kind to share some tips on your photography techniques. I simply love them and would need help with mine for my blog.
White background, lots of light that is all the same color, and keep things simple.
My child love this games!
Long time fan. Can’t wait to finally have the physical books in my hands!