Mech Attack and Panzer 8 for 10mm sci-fi gaming

Last week, while Pat and Josh were playing This is Not a Test, the rest of us were playing Mech Attack and Panzer 8 sci-fi. For 10mm gaming, most of us have rebased Mechwarrior clix without any repainting. However, there are some exceptions.
Tim has repainted his mechs in a green scheme that matches his 28mm Neo-Soviet forces.

Jon uses some really nicely painted Games Workshop Epic 40,000 titans. Technically they're 6mm, but they are big enough to make great 10mm mechs. Here's half of Jon's force. Vintage awesome-ness!

Panzer 8
Panzer 8 is part of a family of two-page rulesets based around the same fast-playing rule system. It's free, so check it out! For the game, we setup an urban layout using lots of card buildings. We house-ruled that any building of 2 stories or higher blocks line of sight, even for mechs that appear taller than the building. At some point we hope to build some of the excellent free cardstock buildings from the Dropzone Commander games, as they are taller than our current buildings.

We modified the rules as follows, mostly to accommodate the fact that we use 10mm figures based on fairly large bases. Due to the large bases we use, any gap (even one smaller than a unit) between
units is enough to allow other units to pass through and shoot. Similarly, we ruled that shooting is measured from any base edge.

Jon and I began with Panzer 8, while Terrence and Tim took over the adjacent table for their Mech Attack game. We were a bit rusty so we began with a meatgrinder, kill-em-all game.

I was using a pair of mechs and two platoons of armor, which you can see in this photo.

As the game started, I attempted to quickly bring my armor up the center and left flank, with my mechs bringing up the right flank.

Unfortunately, it wasn't long before Jon began to concentrate his fire and systematically dismantle my forces. Here's a shot of his titans pouring fire into my team.

I did manage to take down one of his light mechs, as well as a heavy mech.

But it quickly became a massacre. None of my forces even made it much past the center of the board.

Here's how things looked at the end of the game.

Mech Attack
Mech Attack is a game from Armor Grid Games that distills the fun of classic BattleTech into an actual, playable ruleset. The PDF is $6. For our game, we setup a maze-like rocky layout. I didn't end up with very many pics of these games, unfortunately.

Terrence and Tim started off on this table with a simple meatgrinder game.

 After that, Tim and I played a game where the objective was to get a squad of elite jump troops to occupy a gun emplacement at the center of the board.

The troops unit were given the following scenario specific rules.

  • The ability to cross all terrain (not a standard troop ability in Mech Attack) 
  • In increased speed to 5 inches 
  • Didn't enter the board until turn 3, when they entered from a side of the players choosing 
  • One new troop unit would respawn every time one was killed

It ended up being a very fast game as once the troops entered the board, as it only took them two running moves to reach the emplacement. The game simply came down to who won initiative on turn 5 for their troops to enter the emplacement. It was a bit of a 'blah' scenario, but it has given me some ideas for future scenarios.

In the end, this evening reminded me why I like these two rulessets so much. Panzer 8 is a great way to get a mass of figures on the board without being bogged down in rules. We could have easily fielded twice as many units per side and it wouldn't have lengthened the game much. The rules are extremely streamlined, but as we've seen, a few house rules can really round it out nicely. I'm looking forward to increasingly making this game our own.

Mech Attack did it's usual job of making a Battletech-sized game (roughly five-vs-five units) resolve in about a quarter of the time while still retaining essential mech-game elements: damage grids, heat tracking and weapon systems with varied effects. It did, however drive home the benefits of a well-built scenarios. Without one, it can simply degrade into a dice rolling slug-fest. Such games are fun for a while, but not likely to hold one's interest for an extended period of time.

As a club, we've decided to postpone the start of our winter post-apocalyptic campaign until early February to allow for one more evening of 10mm sci-fi. Stay tuned for more Mech Attack and Panzer 8 next time!

-- Karl, Chicago Skirmish Wargames club member

3 responses to “Mech Attack and Panzer 8 for 10mm sci-fi gaming

  1. Nice AAR. Mech attack sounds like fun.

  2. Going to have to look into these rules. 15mm SciFi has been simmering for a while, just need some good rules for it to boil over.

  3. For 15mm, Mech Attack is probably a better option. It's actually written for 15mm.

    Pz8SciFi could be played 15mm, but it works best with alot of units on the table. Still, it's free and definitely worth looking over.

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