If you’re a fan of Warhammer and Gundam, there’s a good chance you’ve daydreamed about re-enacting your favourite mecha battles on your Warhammer tabletop, perhaps with your collection of Bandai Hobby’s Gunpla kits. MechaStellar, a free fan-made wargaming ruleset, is designed to let you do just that.
“To play MechaStellar you need minis or models of your favorite mecha, 10d10 and a tape measure”, according to the game’s website. You can download the full rules there, along with several rosters of units from different anime series, plus a “cooperative mode for running through pre-made Mission Packs”.
The anime inspiration in the rules is clear. Rather than rolling to hit against a defence stat, the defender rolls to evade against the firer’s shooting stat. Mechanically that’s identical, but dodging enemy fire feels more anime. One unit at the start of each round can declare a challenge against a foe, locking the two units into attacking each other. The game uses an alternating activation system but, in a twist, if a unit is attacked, it must activate next and attempt to retaliate.
When the game launched in 2016 it was focused entirely on Gundam, but since 2021 the unit roster has expanded to include mecha from other anime series such as Getter Robo and Neon Genesis Evangelion. An active fan community votes on the anime series it would like to see next receive game rules.
There’s even a roster for the Jaegers and Kaiju of Guillermo Del Toro’s epic mech brawler Pacific Rim, as well as a matching narrative mission pack . No hint yet of rules for mecha-fielding Warhammer 40k factions like the T’au Empire, Imperial Knights, or Warhammer Titan Legions, despite how cool it would be to see a Warhound Titan and a Zaku 2 knock seven bells out of each other.
The game is scale agnostic, but the website cautions you’ll need to scale your gaming terrain appropriately: if you want to use 28mm scale landscape scenery, it recommends using 2-3” tall Gundams, such as the Gundam 1/400 and 1/300 lines. We assume that’s to make sure terrain obscures your models appropriately, since Adeptus Titanicus terrain isn’t far off 1/300 scale.
Wargamer recently wrote about the superficially similar 30MM wargame: that’s focused entirely on the Thirty Minute Missions model kit line, and is locked into the corresponding 1/144 scale.