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The Last Mech Rulebook

Version 0.11 - February 12, 2018

Getting started


The PDF set contains the following things to print on A4 paper and cut out to play:

  • Battlefield board
  • Two player Mech boards
  • 52 Energy cards / 16 Weapon cards / 12 Scan cards / 64 Location cards
  • Six Obstacle pieces

You will also need:

  • Two Mech playing pieces
  • One eight-sided die (1D8)
  • Coloured tokens: 50 Damage / 10 Augment / 10 Weapon


  1. Each player takes a Mech board to publicly display their Weapons and any damage suffered, and places their mech at either hex 1/1 or 8/8 on the Battlefield.
  2. Set the Battlefield up with four two-hex Obstacles. Each player rolls 1D8: highest result takes first turn to to draw a Location card and position an Obstacle of their choice on the indicated hex in the desired orientation. Continue until four two-hex Obstacles are placed. If any obstruct or block-in the start positions, redraw a Location card.
  3. Two Weapon cards are dealt to each player, which are placed next to two of the four empty Weapon slots on their Mech board.
  4. Each player Augments two of their Mech’s Components, placing Augment tokens on their Mech board.
  5. Weapon cards and Scan cards are shuffled together into a single deck and placed, face down, next to the shuffled full pack of Location cards.
  6. Players roll 1D8: highest result takes first turn.

Playing a game

Players take turns to spend Energy to take actions with their Mechs, moving them around the hex-based board and firing their Weapons.

The object of the game is to be the last Mech standing. A Mech is destroyed when four of its Components are destroyed.

Order of play

The player on each turn:

  1. Discards Energy cards in Shield and resolves any effects
  2. Checks for and resolves Burnout damage
  3. Draws 3 Energy cards into their hand
  4. Spends Energy cards on moving, firing Weapons and using Head actions, in any order, resolving each action in turn
  5. Places Energy cards in their Shield, face down

Your Mech

“Tell me this isn’t the Mech that had the reactor surge. The one that killed Pilot Yamada? Christ. Well, I suppose if its guns still work, it’s gonna have to do.”


Each Mech comprises nine Components: a Shield, Head, two Legs and four Weapons. Each Component performs a specific function.

  • Legs allow a Mech to move around the board
  • Shield allows a Mech to avoid taking damage
  • Head allows a Mech to Scan the battlefield for useful equipment
  • Weapons allow a Mech to attack its opponent

Other than Legs, each Component requires Energy to be used. Each Component has 5 HP. If it receives damage that is equal to or exceeds its HP, the Component is destroyed and can longer be used.

Both players start the game with two random Weapons installed. They can install up to two more by picking them up from the battlefield.


At the start of the game, players Augment two of their Mechs’ Components by placing Augment tokens on the relevant Components on their Mech boards. This raises the efficiency and function of the chosen Components as follows:

  • Head: Scanning costs one Energy, rather than two
  • Leg: Grants a extra hex of movement per turn
  • Weapon: Weapon costs one less Energy to fire (Note: Weapons which normally cost only one Energy become free to fire)
  • Shield: Grants one extra point of damage mitigation to the first Energy card placed in the Shield

Once an Augment is installed, it cannot be moved, and each Component may only have one Augment installed. If an Augmented Component is destroyed, the Augment is destroyed.


“For all the noise it’s making, you’d think it’d move a bit faster,” the pilot growled. The chief engineer shrugged. It was all she could do to get it moving at all.

At the start of their turn, each player draws three Energy cards into their hand, which are spent on making actions. Cards grant different amounts of Energy, and may also cause secondary effects, both positive and negative.

The basic value of an Energy card is indicated by the number at the top of the card, which will be either 1 or 2.

Energy results in different actions, depending on what Component it’s spent:

  • Weapons: Allows them to fire; cost dependent on the Weapon
  • Shield: Energy is stored in the Shield during the opponent’s turn; each point of Energy negates a point of incoming damage
  • Head: Spend two Energy to buy a Scan of the battlefield
  • Legs: Each point of Energy grants a hex of movement in addition to its default movement

If a card carries more Energy than an action requires, the whole card is consumed and the surplus is wasted.

Think carefully about the order in which you spend your Energy cards to maximise their efficiency and minimise damage to your Mech.

If the Energy card deck runs out, shuffle the discard pile and draw from it.

Energy effects: Damage

As she fired, an arc of energy sprang from the Rifle and fizzed across her cockpit into her mech’s already sparking shield generator. As flames began licking through the joints, she saw her shot had buckled her opponent nearly to kneeling. “Win some, lose some.”

Your Mech is falling apart, and sometimes using Energy will damage your own Mech when it’s used, as indicated by red text on the Energy card.

Damage is resolved before the action is made. The player rolls 1D8 to determine which Component is damaged and adds the indicated number of Damage tokens to it on their Mech board. If the Component is unoccupied or already destroyed, the damage is ignored. If the Component being used is destroyed by the damage, the Energy is spent and the action fails.

Energy effects: Cards

Sometimes Energy causes a leak in the reactor, forcing the player to drop Energy cards from their hand.

This effect is indicated by the red text, “Drop x Card/s”. The opponent takes the specified number of Energy cards from the player’s hand and discards them. Any effects on the cards are ignored. If the player has no cards to discard, then play continues.

Energy effects: Surge

Sometimes Energy cards will grant extra Energy if used on a specific Component, as indicated by black text on the card.

For example, if a player has a 1 Energy card with the +2 Weapon property and uses it on their Shotgun, it will grant it three Energy. But if spent on Legs, it will grant only one Energy.


Mechs’ reactors are faulty and will short out, causing damage, if they’re trying to hold too much Energy.

If a player holds more than five Energy cards at the start of their turn, Burnout damage is caused. For every card in hand exceeding five, a random slot receives one damage, which ignores any Shield.

As for resolving Energy card damage, roll 1D8 for each point of damage to determine what it hits.


The enemy Mech kept dancing out of range, coming in for a punch before dodging back again. Bit by bit, his mech was getting bashed into submission.

Movement is very important, and when a Mech needs to it can cover a lot of ground.

  • Each leg grants one hex of movement
  • Each Augment installed in a Leg grants a hex
  • Each point of Energy spent on Legs grants one hex

Mechs may not move through obstacles or through other Mechs.

During a turn a Mech can combine all its movement resources into a single movement, or make several separate moves, as determined by the movement resources available.

For example, if a Mech has a standard left leg and an Augment installed in its right, they will only allow a maximum of two movements: one of one hex for the left leg, and another of up to two hexes for the right leg. To make a third move or more, the player must spend Energy.

If both legs are destroyed, the Mech can still drag itself across the ground by spending two Energy to move one hex.


When the smoke cleared, it was clear the Mech was weaponless. But it wasn’t over yet. He sent a pulse out across the battlefield. Maybe he could get creative with some of the wreckage out there.

By spending two Energy on the Head, a player can Scan the Battlefield to secretly reveal the location of useful items and new Weapons. This may be performed only once in a turn.

The scanning player draws a Scan card and then a Location card to determine its position, and keeps them hidden from their opponent.

If the location is covered by an Obstruction, the Scan fails. If a Mech is already occupying the location and will activate it, the action is resolved immediately.

Activating Scan cards

Scan cards are activated according to their instructions. Most are only activated by the scanning player’s Mech. Some, like mines, are only activated by the opponent’s Mech. Some are activated by a Mech occupying its hex, others can also be activated by a Mech passing through it.

Note: New Augments cannot be installed in Components with existing Augments. Repairbots will restore destroyed Components’ functionality, but not Augments they had installed.

Installing Weapons

In a pall of smoke and fire the Mech tore the Rockets from its shoulder and threw them down. Just in time. One more hit and they’d explode, taking the mounting - and the rest of the Mech - with them. It lifted the abandoned Laser from the ground and began fitting it. A good trade.

A scanned Weapon is activated when the scanning Mech occupies its hex, and it can be installed in any of the Mech’s four Weapon Components, including occupied ones, except those which house Weapons that have been destroyed. If the required Energy is available, a newly installed Weapon may be used immediately.

If the Component is already occupied by a Weapon, the original Weapon is dropped on the battlefield, where it can be picked up by any Mech that occupies the hex. The Weapon retains any damage it has sustained.

The location of a dropped Weapon is marked on the board with a Weapon token. Take its Weapon card, place on it any Damage tokens it’s collected, and display with the Location card next to the board so both players can see.

Note: A Weapon may only be dropped if being replaced with one found at the Mech’s location.


“The Mechanical Corps says it has a weapon for every occasion. Which is great, ‘cept you only get to carry a couple at a time.”


At the start of the game, each Mech carries only two Weapons, but can install up to two more if it can locate them on the battlefield by Scanning.

The Last Mech features 16 different Weapons, each comprising varying attributes and abilities, as displayed on its Weapon card. Some do not cause any damage but grant the player extra tactical abilities.

Weapons’ principal statistics are:

  • Range: How many hexes away it’s able to affect the targeted Mech
  • Damage: How much damage it causes to the targeted Component
  • Energy: How much Energy it costs to fire

Firing a weapon

Each Weapon can only be fired once per turn. To fire a weapon, the player must first announce which Component of the opponent Mech they are targeting. They then spend Energy on it. If any of the Energy cards cause damage to the player, they must be resolved before firing. If the Weapon is destroyed, the attack fails.

If all Weapons on a Mech are destroyed, the Mech can barge an enemy at range one for one damage, costing two Energy. The player can attack in this way as many times in a turn as Energy allows.

Range and line of sight

Weapons may only hit the enemy if it’s within the Weapon’s range and within line of sight. Range is calculated by tracing the shortest number of hexes between the attacker and defender.

Line of sight is calculated by checking if two corners of the attacker’s hex can see one corner of the target’s hex. Note that some Weapons ignore line of sight.

Charge attack

He looked down at his Energy reserves. Just enough. His Charged Plasma bolt hit home, freezing the enemy Mech’s leg for the precious moment he needed to get out of its Hammer’s range. Not a drop of Energy remained, but he’d survive another minute. And maybe that would lead to surviving more.

Each Weapon features a Charge attack, in which the Weapon fires normally and a Charged effect is also applied, as noted on its Weapon card. These attacks cost more Energy than a standard use of the Weapon.

An active Shield will block the effects of Charge attacks. When resolving a Charge attack, the Weapon’s standard attack impacts the target first, and then the Charge effect is applied.

The Charge attack will only affect the target if the Shield is fully exhausted when it’s applied, unless the Charge attack delivers immediate additional damage, in which case the additional damage is resolved against the remaining Shield.

If a Charge attack is used at an incorrect range, it will not affect the target, but other effects may function.

If a Charge attack causes the target to lose Energy cards, they’re removed from their hand by their opponent.


“There are those who go blazing in. They get what’s coming to them.”

By spending Energy on the Shield, a Mech can avoid taking damage on any targeted Component. But Energy can only be stored in the Shield for a single turn.

Energy is spent on the Shield at the end of a player’s turn by placing Energy cards face down by their Mech board. Their opponent must not know what they are.

If the player has installed an Augment into their Shield, then each card placed in it is granted one extra point of Energy.

Each point of Energy in the Shield absorbs one point of incoming damage. When all Shield is exhausted, any remaining damage is subtracted from targeted Component’s HP.

Shield order

The order that the cards are placed in the Shield matters, because incoming damage is applied to top card first, consuming as many cards placed in Shield as required to absorb it.

Example 1: If three damage is incoming and the defending player has two Energy cards, each with the value of two, both cards will be consumed.

Example 2: If one damage is incoming and the target has Augmented their Shield and placed in it a 1 Energy card, both the card and Augment effect are consumed by the attack.

Discarding Shield Energy

When consumed by an enemy attack, Energy cards are placed in the discard pile and any effects on them are resolved. If damage from an effect destroys the Shield, the card will still absorb the incoming attacker’s damage.

Any remaining Energy cards in the Shield are discarded at the start of the player’s next turn. Negative effects are resolved immediately.

Shield Reflect

If an Energy card with the Shield Reflect effect is placed in the Shield, it causes any attack hitting it to reflect back at the attacker. The defender does not incur any damage.

Damage is applied to a random Component on the enemy Mech, determined by 1D8. If a preceding Energy card has already absorbed some of the attack, only the remaining damage is reflected back at the attacker. If the incoming attack is a Charge attack, the Charge effect is also applied to the attacker.


A pilot shall consider their Mech the property of the Corps. The damage a Mech suffers is suffered by the whole Corps. A reckless pilot holds the glorious Corps in the deepest contempt.

Damage is displayed on the relevant Component on players’ Mech boards, so all players can see. Place one Damage token for each point suffered.

Damage does not affect unoccupied Weapon Components, since there is nothing to hit there. Any damage that hits already destroyed Components is ignored.


When a Component has five or more Damage tokens it’s considered destroyed, along with any Augment that is installed in it, and no longer functions. For example, if a Leg is destroyed, the Mech loses any movement points it granted. Without a head a player cannot Scan. Weapons cannot be installed in destroyed Components.

If damage is caused that will continue in future turns, such as that caused by the Flamer, place Damage tokens for future damage face down on the affected Component, turning them over at the start of the attacking player’s next turn.

In certain circumstances, a destroyed Component may be repaired, restoring its functionality, but it will not restore an Augment installed in that Component.


Order of play

These details are also noted on each player’s Mech board. The player on each turn:

  1. Discards Energy cards in Shield and resolves any effects
  2. Checks for and resolves Burnout damage
  3. Draws 2 Energy cards into their hand
  4. Spends Energy cards on moving, firing Weapons and using Head actions, in any order, resolving each action in turn
  5. Places Energy cards in their Shield, face down

Key details

  • Energy cards drawn each turn: 3
  • Movement: 1 hex per leg, plus 1 for any installed Augment
  • Hit points of each Component: 5
  • Shield: 1 point of Energy absorbs 1 damage
  • Scan cost: 2 Energy
  • Burnout: For every card in hand exceeding five, a random slot receives 1 Damage (roll 1D8 for each card)
  • Win: Destroy four of opponents’ Mech’s Components


  • H: Hex
  • D: Damage
  • E: Energy
  • R: Range

Thus, a Weapon rated at 1D/2E/1-5R does one damage at range 1-5, costing two Energy. A Leg rated with 2H can travel two hexes.

The Last Mech © Alex Wiltshire 2017-2024