Any relatively cheap yet popular wargames? Basically poor mans Warhammer (either fantasy or 40k) is what I'm looking for.
so, Battletech? I mean a typical lance is like four mechs, and for just a pickup game it's pretty normal for one lance (or less) to be your entire side.
hell nobody's even forcing you to buy the models for those four mechs; my starter set was dirt cheap and came with a bunch of little cardboard mech standups for pieces.