MechaStellar – Mazinger Z Tactics

Mazinger Z is the original piloted Super Robot and set the standard for fierce Mecha vs Kaiju action in the 1970s. Many Mecha iconic attacks first debuted in Mazinger Z including Rocket Punch, energy beams from the eyes, a powerful chest mounted weapon. Mazinger Z is portrayed as an Invincible Super Robot with a myriad of attacks, in this mecha tactics post we’ll look at how best to use the different Mazinger Z units on the tabletop.

To start we’ll look at the key differences between the Mazinger Z from the Toei TV show and the Mazinger Z from the Shin Mazinger OVA, they’ll be referred to as Toeizinger and Shin Mazinger below.  Toeizinger has quite a few more weapons than Shin Mazinger, as the Toei anime continued Mazinger acquired more and more attacks, or upgrades to existing ones, for example Iron Cutter was an upgraded rocket punch.  The Toei anime introduced several different upgrades and variations of attacks, since we couldn’t include them all we tried to focus on just some key attacks which were prevalent in the 70s Toei anime as well as the more recent Mazinger Infinity movie.

While they share many of the same iconic attacks such as Rust Hurricane, Rocket Punch, Photon Energy Beam [Koushiryoku Beam (光子力ビーム) ] the key difference is in their special type.  Toeizinger has the Heavy Arms type while Shin Mazinger is using the Indomitable type.  This lets Toeizinger have additional equipment options for its many weapons and a bonus action at the cost of -1 Evade.  Shin Mazinger on the other hands gains additional HP and +1 to its Armor Save and Melee dice as an Indomitable type. 

Gameplay wise Toeizinger will be able to bring more weapons to bear (up to 3 per turn) or it can use that third action to focus and gain additional power to user a different combination of attacks.  Shin Mazinger on the other hand is a bit more tougher in Melee and overall more durable.  For those that have seen the Toei TV show or read the manga you’ll note that Mazinger gets totaled more than a few times throughout the story, in contrast Shin Mazinger rarely takes serious damage aside from the iconic Tauros D7 scenes.

Speaking of which, playing any version of Mazinger Z means knowing how best to use the Invincible trait.  This trait gives you [M+1] as long as you block all attacks that turn.  For instance if you are hit three times by a heat ray or giant sword, if you were to block all 3 hits using Momentum, you would gain [M+1] at the end of the round.  This is very useful way to let you avoid taking damage for a small Momentum cost, and becomes even more useful when you have an Ace Pilot who can use Flawless Evade.

When it comes to weaponry, typically the shorter range weapon will pack more punch.  Rust Hurricane is absolutely devastating to Mobile Suits with its High PEN and attacks, Rocket Punch is a low power option and if you’re flush with Momentum can let you score a lot of hits on a target.  Breast Fire is a versatile tool with lots of attacks and high Armor Penetration, while photon energy beam is useful to start the match off with its long range. 

Additionally, Toeizinger is loaded with missile, the drill missiles are stored behind each Rocket Punch and are best used in conjunction with it.  The southern cross knife are essentially shurikens that are launched out of the jet scrander, lower damage but useful in close range to overwhelm a weak opponents defenses. 

Toeizinger also has the freezing beam (Reito Beam), not seen in Shin Mazinger, which it can use to freeze a target shutting them down and giving Tactical Advantage.  Lastly but not least Toeizinger has “Mazinpower” which in the show provided a large power boost temporarily but would leave Mazinger drained afterwards (it got even more powerful during Mazinger Infinity overcoming its limitations).  For gameplay purposes we let it give you a massive power upgrade in Round 5 or dual focus actions if you’d like to drastically improve your shooting or melee accuracy (something that will benefit Mazinkaiser later on).  If you’d prefer to run a 500pt Toeizinger then drop the “Mazinpower” upgrade since it was added later in the Toei shows runtime.

Now to round out this post let’s focus on Shin Mazinger.  Shin Mazinger focused on the classic Mazinger attacks and eschewed some iconic upgrades like the Iron Cutter.  Instead, it showed the strongest Photon Energy Beam yet, and so we added that as a special trait to Shin.  The baseline Shin comes with Hot Blooded so its best to get him into Melee, he may not win every encounter but it generates a large amount of Momentum.  Hot Blooded also gives bonus shots when firing back at someone who attacked you last turn, which is excellent for a sending dual Rocket Punch.

The upgraded version as Koji as an Ace Pilot and the time period is roughly around when he has to fight several Mechanical Beasts (Kikaiju) at the same time including Vargas V5, Glossam X2, Tauros D7 and Ghostfire V9.  For this version he has a different pilot trait, Furious Fusillade, which is a fancy way of saying he’s focused on weaponry and lots of it.  Useful when facing lots of enemies.

This pilot trait can improve Shooting Accuracy & Range and most importantly it makes the “All-Out Attack” skill much cheaper, allowing you to fire a large amount of weapons at once.  Keep in mind, that All-Out Attack doubles the units power stat before modifiers, so if you plan on using your second action to Focus, the bonus Power is after doubling, not before.

Last but not least we have Mazinger with the God Scrander, when the hand of Zeus fuses with Mazinger it gains wings and additional arms on its back. 

This allows Mazinger to fire 4 Rocket Punches, on the tabletop this is reflected in its ability to attack two targets with each Rocket Punch. 

In addition to that, Mazinger can actually turn into Zeus’ giant golden fist called the “Big Bang Punch” which he uses to great effect against Flying Fortress Ghoul and Hell King Gordon.  It’s a potent tool but will require considerably Momentum investment so use it against the right target.

That’s all for now.  If you’re completely unfamiliar with Mazinger and would like to know the best place to start watching then take a look at this post.  If you’re looking for small scale Mazinger miniatures take a look at this post.  If you’d like to use larger models then you can’t go wrong with the Soul of Chogokin line.

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