Mechabrick: turn your minifigs into mecha

One of the many cool things I didn’t list in my report on Steam 2013 was mechabrick.

steam-promo-pic2 copy

It was started by British AFOL Ben Jarvis that combines three of his passions: Lego, robots and wargaming. Ben has launched a kick-starter project to get it under way. If successful, this should enable the launch of the first mechabrick kit, which will consist of all the parts you need to turn four minifigs into kick-ass mecha (with friggin’ big guns, of course) and four boards that are to be combined to form the play board. The kit will also contain stickers to customise the mecha, as well as dice and a rulebook. Mechabrick is more than just a war game with mecha, however. An essential and fun part of the game will be building the scenery and obstacles on the game board with our favourite plastic bricks. Ben built a rather impressive example for the show.

STEAM (Great Western LEGO Show) 2013

At the event I had the opportunity to handle two of the prototypes and they looked (and felt) promising. I’m sure that plenty of you, like Ben, are fans of Lego, robots and wargaming. Check out the pictures in the flickr group and the project page. If you like what you see, you can pledge your support.

9 comments on “Mechabrick: turn your minifigs into mecha

  1. Tromas

    That seriously looks like such a fun design. I also really like the fact that the game rules will be quite simple. I purchased the MFZ book to play with Tate, but it was simply too complex for him at this age. I just pledged for the Early Bird kit. Thanks for sharing this Ralph!

  2. Stephen Boe

    That is really cool! That board game also looks amazingly fun to play! It probably costs a pretty penny though.

  3. MittenNinja

    From what I can tell, this game has nearly nothing to offer that Mobile Frame Zero ( doesn’t have, costs more money, and is less versatile in both designing/building units and gameplay. I could maybe see myself throwing 1 euro at it to get the instructions for all the buildings but that is it.

  4. Josh

    @MittenNinja – I don’t have a horse in the race in either case, but there is a huge difference between this game and the one you mention (which I didn’t know about, so thank you for mentioning it). The difference is that the game you mentioned has all brick-built mechs and you supply them. This game comes with pieces to convert your minifigs to mechs. While it may not be your cup of tea, that is an obvious reason for a price difference, in my mind.

  5. MittenNinja

    @Josh – Oh I agree on the pricing, it makes total sense. Either way it’s promotion for Lego Wargaming, which is a plus in my book. My biggest thing with Mechabrick is that not only to you HAVE to buy specialty third party pieces to play, but then you also have to wait for them to create new pieces to get new units. One of the biggest draws that has brought people into MFZ is the fact that you can build whatever you want; Battletech Mad Cats, Gundams, Heavy Gears, heck even tanks and helicopters. The system is so versatile that people have done naval combat with the same rules. Plus (and mechabrick might have this but i have not gotten to look at the rules in full) destructable terrain is a big deal for me when all your stuff is made out of bricks that come apart, and MFZ has it and it is an integral part of the game.

  6. Tromas

    @MittenNinja: There is no real reason that you can’t build your own units for Mechabrick to accompany the ones provided with the game. Obvioulsy the immediate draw are the stock mechas, but I am actually looking forward to using those parts and combining them with LEGO parts to make our own units. I have never been drawn to third party parts all that much, but these just seem so expandable beyond the game itself, that I couldn’t help but support right away :)

    Also after reading Ben’s explanation of creating simplistic rules so that he could play wargames with his 7 year old brother really got me excited because that is exactly what I wanted MFZ for, but it was simply too complex to ‘train’ my 5 year old to play.

  7. Ralph Post author

    The supposedly small difference between them is, of course, the reason why mechabricks is on TBB and MFZ isn’t: the former involves LEGO. Yes, the custom parts are new and cool, but the way I see it there’s nothing to stop wargamers from building their own stuff.

  8. MittenNinja

    @ralph – are you saying MFZ doesn’t involve Lego? Because it definitely does.

    I really hope that mechabrick gets enough funding to get off the ground. I do think its a cool concept and now that I’ve read a basic version of the rules I can definitely see it as a great game to play with much younger kids (MFZ kind of maxes out at 8 or older).

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