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The indie tabletop wargame of tiny giant LEGO spaceships! by Joshua A.C. Newman Read more

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This project was successfully funded on April 25, 2014.

The indie tabletop wargame of tiny giant LEGO spaceships! by Joshua A.C. Newman

About this project

(Looking for the fast-paced, realtime word game Alpha Bandits by Wiggity Bang Games? Look over here!)

Mobile Frame Zero 002: Alpha Bandit is now

Mobile Frame Zero: Intercept Orbit is a component for Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack, the indie tabletop war-game of tiny giant LEGO® robots! Spaceships of the year SC 0245 battle in the orbit of the colonies — present and former — of the Solar Union as Ijad and Free Colonies struggle for independence and advantage!

Commander Foss' "Mekong" class carrier, "Pehlivan"
Commander Foss' "Mekong" class carrier, "Pehlivan"

$35,000 Stretch goal! Build instructions for the Mekong-Class carrier!

Building Fleets

Build a fleet of ships from LEGO® or another building toy, equipping your ships with weapons, sensors, defense systems, and frame catapults to capture your opponents' High Value Assets — and the very ships of their fleet!

Frigates are fast and maneuverable, putting the ship's deadly guns where you need them and swooping in to capture unprotected HVAs!

Capital ships are slow and clumsy but mighty, including cruisers and the all-important carriers, which can launch frames to anywhere on the table in an instant, refueling and repairing them as they catapult back into action!

The "Aushad" ("Torrent")-class command carrier
The "Aushad" ("Torrent")-class command carrier

Mobile Frame Companies fly back and forth across the board, dogfighting other frame companies, snatching unprotected HVAs, and boarding ships to take command! But be careful — dogfighting can run your frames out of fuel, stranding them in space!

Mobile Frame Aces use their particular talent to provide their fleet with deadly firepower, to lead the fleet, to pull their ships out of danger (or its opponents' into it!), or to defend its friends and allies! Wherever a fleet's ace goes, they shape the battle.

Mobile frame launch booster sketch by Richmont Gan, the book's illustrator
Mobile frame launch booster sketch by Richmont Gan, the book's illustrator

Wait, I just build my own ships out of LEGO®?

Yeah! Well, you can build them out of other stuff, too, if you want. But doesn't that sound like fun to you? You'll be building ships to two different standards — capital ships, which have four systems, and frigates, which have three, but move and maneuver much more swiftly. Each catapult will carry with it a company of mobile frames. Then you'll choose the number of frame companies your ace's talent, and your fleet is ready to fly!

There will be instructions for six ship classes — two fleets — in the book, but the Solar Union has spread far by SC 0245, and there are many more types of ship across the galaxy, including and especially the ones you designed!

A UMFL fleet rushes in to rescue a company of frames that has run out of fuel, while its ace tries to take down an Ijad carrier singlehandedly. It may succeed!
A UMFL fleet rushes in to rescue a company of frames that has run out of fuel, while its ace tries to take down an Ijad carrier singlehandedly. It may succeed!

What's play like?

You'll be struggling from the first move to capture a positional advantage, catapulting frames into danger just to repair them the next turn in the very hangar they captured from your opponent!

$40,000 stretch goal! How To Play video by the Transit Gate krewe and Joshua A.C. Newman!

Ships will swarm with companies of mobile frames, boarding, capturing, refueling, and relaunching across the tabletop in a single move!

The UMFL "Samar"-class frigate
The UMFL "Samar"-class frigate

Captains damn the torpedoes, hoping their ship and its brave crew will be remembered for its sacrifice, ramming its opponent through a withering hail of fire!

Just like in Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack, the shape of the game changes quickly, with your asymmetrical fleets dealing strategy-altering hits from the first move. You might find your offensive fleet suddenly struggling to take a defensive formation as you take strategic advantage of the situation, counting down faster to Doomsday because you don't know how long your ships can stand up to firepower of this magnitude. 

So I need the rules for Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack to play?

Yeah, Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack is a gloss-covered, illustrated, 224 page book. You can get the PDF or hardcopy as a backer level, or add it to your reward after the Kickstarter is over. Or you can just buy the book now and start playing Rapid Attack right away! Don't worry. I'll be here when you get back.

The "Zealous" class Free Colony carrier, converted from a cargo vessel
The "Zealous" class Free Colony carrier, converted from a cargo vessel

Who's this Soren guy?

He's an amazing master of the LEGO® medium. Want to see some more of his work? You can see it here. Don't get lost. His work is stunning, and he'll bring that same skill to building your fleet.

You can follow him on Twitter @HarmfulMechanic and his design Tumblr.

So who are you?

I'm Joshua A.C. Newman. I wrote and published Shock:Social Science Fiction, Shock:Human Contact, and, of course, Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack, which I wrote with Vincent Baker and Soren. I also write the science fiction blog xenoglyph, which is full of speculative zoölogy and anthropology. 

This is my fourth Kickstarter, starting with Human Contact in 2010. I also designed the TiGr bike lock Kickstarter before turning back to games with Mobile Frame Zero 001: Rapid Attack.

You can follow me on Twitter @JoshuaACNewman.

What does the Red Knights' unit patch look like?

A lot like this!

Terran Transit Marines company, The Red Knights
Terran Transit Marines company, The Red Knights

Meet a community of builders and players

Come over to the Mobile Frame Hangar fan forum and the MoFØs there will help you build a fleet, answer your rules questions, and talk about the Solar Calendar setting!

Do you guys work for LEGO®?

Nope! We're just big fans. The LEGO® Group doesn't have anything to do with Mobile Frame Zero at all. Some players even build their models out of Mega Bloks, or use metal miniatures and plastic models! 

What's the deal with the helmet backer level?

For one backer, I'll custom-detail a pilot-style helmet in the colors of the Red Knights, or we can design something for your own company colors! If you like, you can send me your real motorcycle helmet and I'll work on it in my workshop after we decide on our design and materials, then send it off to you.

A mockup of a Red Knight pilot's helmet
A mockup of a Red Knight pilot's helmet

I can't guarantee it's legal in your state as a motorcycle helmet, so please know what's safe and legal for you!

Of course, cosplay is extremely safe as an activity.

Come about, charge the rails, and brace for impact!

Risks and challenges

Intercept Orbit's rules have been thoroughly tested, but I haven't yet written the book. When I wrote Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack, the book length doubled as enthusiastic backers encouraged me. I'm hoping to keep this one to its intended length to keep it tight, concise, and easy to use.

This is my sixth game and twelfth publication. Each time, I've learned new kinds of mistakes I can make. Most of the time, those mistakes are logistical, but, I have worked hard to reduce the hits I took on Rapid Attack, both in terms of deadline and money (particularly shipping fees).

This time, we're contracting with the logistical might of Make That Thing to smooth out such challenges, which means I'm only picking my head up from writing and design for one possible part of the project: the Mobile Frame pilot's helmet. The rest of the time, I'll be doing what I do best: writing and designing a book.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $11 or more

    84 backers

    IN-PROCESS PDFs of Alpha Bandit will start coming to you in just a couple of weeks, so you can start playing as soon as the book starts coming together! You'll keep receiving them until the publication is complete!

    Estimated delivery:
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    Pledge $18 or more

    94 backers

    The MOBILE FRAME ZERO 001: RAPID ATTACK core rule PDF and the IN-PROCESS PDFs of 002: Alpha Bandit as they come into existence!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $26 or more

    406 backers

    The full, 48-page MOBILE FRAME ZERO 002: ALPHA BANDIT book and in-process PDFs!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $31 or more

    51 backers

    The FULL BOOK & in-process PDFs, plus the UNIT PATCH for Abacan Foss' Red Knight company of the Terran Transit Marines!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $46 or more

    116 backers

    DECALS, including three sheets of airlocks, numbers, sensors, hull patches, mobile frame details, and a bunch of surprises! Also includes the FULL BOOK, the PATCH, and the in-process PDFs.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    109 backers

    The Mobile Frame Zero collection! MOBILE FRAME ZERO: RAPID ATTACK rule and setting book, MOBILE FRAME ZERO: ALPHA BANDIT space battles component, DECAL SET ONE for mobile frames, DECAL SET TWO for spaceships, and Commander Foss' RED KNIGHTS UNIT PATCH!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    4 backers All gone!

    A single MEKONG-CLASS CARRIER with its company of mobile frames by Soren! Naturally, includes the FULL BOOK, the Red Knights UNIT PATCH, a sheet of decals, and all in-process PDFs of MFØ: Alpha Bandit!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    2 backers All gone!

    "Maintain formation, and hold the range open. Nothing fancy, nothing foolish. No heroics."
    Special Edition UNITED MARS FOREIGN LEGION FLEET by Soren! Naturally, includes the FULL BOOK, the DECALS, and the in-process PDFs.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    2 backers All gone!

    "What the Eye sees, the Hand soon grasps." Special Edition IJAD FLEET by Soren! Naturally, includes the FULL BOOK, the DECALS, and the in-process PDFs.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    2 backers All gone!

    "We'll sit on the exit vector and hit them as they come out." Special Edition FREE COLONY FLEET by Soren! Naturally, includes the FULL BOOK, the DECALS, and the in-process PDFs.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    2 backers All gone!

    ONE ADDITIONAL UNITED MARS FOREIGN LEGION FLEET, built by Soren! Naturally, includes the FULL BOOK, the RED KNIGHTS UNIT PATCH, the DECALS, and the in-process PDFs.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    2 backers All gone!

    ONE ADDITIONAL FREE COLONIES FLEET, built by Soren! Naturally, includes the FULL BOOK, the RED KNIGHTS UNIT PATCH, the DECALS, and the in-process PDFs.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    2 backers All gone!

    ONE ADDITIONAL IJAD FLEET, built by Soren! Naturally, includes the FULL BOOK, the RED KNIGHTS UNIT PATCH, the DECALS, and the in-process PDFs.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $650 or more

    3 backers All gone!

    A CUSTOM FLEET by Soren, with strategic consultation by Joshua A.C. Newman to help you build the best fleet for your favorite way to play! Naturally, includes the FULL BOOK, the DECALS, and the in-process PDFs.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $700 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    ONE MORE CUSTOM FLEET by Soren, with strategic consultation by Joshua A.C. Newman to help you build the best fleet for your favorite way to play! Naturally, includes the FULL BOOK, the DECALS, the RED KNIGHTS UNIT PATCH, and the in-process PDFs.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,500 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    MOBILE FRAME PILOT HELMET with graphics by Joshua! DOT-legal*, pilot-lookin', and emblazoned with either the livery of Abacan Foss' Red Knights, or that of your own company! *Different states have different laws. I'm doing this because it's cool, not because I know your state's helmet laws. Naturally, includes the FULL BOOK, the DECALS, and the in-process PDFs.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States

Funding period

- (31 days)