Mechaton is a simple, rules-lite miniatures wargame, where everything is made of Lego. It's made by the same dude who made Dogs in the Vineyard.
Really cool Mechs
The mighty Guncrab
It's a Mech game with a 28 page rulebook
that costs $6. Most of those pages are filled with large text. The rest are blueprints for some basic mechs. What I'm saying is, the rules take ltierally less than 5 minutes to learn. You'll need a handful of different colored dice though (the game suggests white, yellow, green, blue, and red. All d6. Then a couple of red and green d8)
You can find the old playtest rules online here
, but be warned that the six-dollar has a few rules tweaks and altered mechanics. But the playtest stuff is a great way to see if you'll like the game or not.
What do I need to play this wonderful thing?
Different colored dice, the rules, and lots of Lego. Don't have a bunch of Lego laying around? Fear not! Bricklink
is a site that sells individual Lego brick (and they've got ALL of them) for 2 - 8 cents. Your rarer stuff can get a bit more pricey, 1 - 5 dollars, but essentially, you can create a squadron of four mechs, all kitted out with sensors and radios and railguns and forcefields for about 12 bucks, plus shipping.
What you do is you make a team of mechs, and then give them Attachments. Attachments are divided into four catagories - Movement (things like jump jets, extra legs, rocket stabilizers), Spotting / Surveillance (radios, targeting systems, laser signalling arrays), Defense (armored hulls, shields, protective forcefields), and of course, weapons! (in three flavors: hand-to-hand, direct fire, and artillery)
Each mech gets up to four attachments. Just build something that looks neat and mecha-ey, and call it whatever you want, and there you go. Each attachment gives you a dice of a certain color (weapons give you red dice, defense attachments give you blue dice, etc.), and at the start of your turn, you roll 'em all and assign them to your mech's various stats. From there, it's just a simple notion of "Is my attack higher than your defense?" You then roll dice according to how many hits you get. Whenever a mech gets hit, he loses one of his attachments - you take it apart and set it on the battlefield.
Campaign play is beautiful, mixing light roleplay with objective-based gaming. Each player in a campaign creates an army and a homeworld, giving them some backstory and fluff, and then three objectives are created at group consensus. They're what everyone fights over, basically. Each army then vies for control of special Lego terrain features linked to one of those objectives, and the end result of the battle is: points are scored, and the story changes, everyone making it up as they go. In addition, you've got a die called the Doomsday Clock, which ticks down from 11 at the end of every campaign game, and then the loser gets to decide whether or not to tick it down again. When it reaches zero, that's the end of your campaign, complete with a climatic end battle.
If you're looking for the campaign rules, they're currently being playtested, but you can find them here: http://www.lumpley.com/comment.php?entry=265
Aren't Mechs hard to make? I'm not that good with Lego.
The rules give you design schematics just like the instruction booklet that comes with any Lego set. After you get familiar with that, it's just a notion of being creative and figuring out what parts go where to make something really cool. But you're all set to make 5 or 6 different Mechs - not to mention that when you give them various attachments, they'll all be individually cool.
You also make Lego terrain and cover, as well as special battlefield features.
So drop down about 20 bucks to grab some Lego from Bricklink and give this game a shot. Then post your armies and stories!