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MasterShake2

Monsterpocalypse Review

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If you're interested in a game where Godzilla can suplex Cthulu into a building of scared and confused bystanders, then keep reading. If you're not, then you probably need to reassess your standards for entertainment.


In MonPoc, games are played on gridded mats (currently 3 available with more to come) and your force will consist of 1-2 monsters who are all unique characters with different playstyles (2 being considered normal), a number of units depending on your monster count (15 for 1 and 20 for 2) and between 6 and 12 buildings. The monsters start the game on the table and you lose when you don't have any, the units start the game in the unit pool and have to be spawned in, but also die like a gerbil in a blender. Finally, you set up the buildings at the start of the game and they don't move because they're buildings (stop me if you need clarification on that).


The building placement is like turn 0 in X-Wing where you bring a selection of 3 obstacles and try to deploy them in a way to give you the most advantage, but but cranked up to 11 both because of the number of building plots on a given map (around 16-20 depending on the map) and the wide array of buildings available (currently over a dozen with more on the way). In this regards, some key aspects of the game i.e. where both sides want to fight can be decided pretty early. Even though the 2 agenda's available are labeled Protectors and Destroyers, don't be fooled into thinking your Protector army won't be using buildings like pinatas of damage and bonuses to be hit as early and often as possible with opposing monsters faces...serve and protect.


Now let's get to the meat of the game, the actual gameplay. The game uses 3 colors of dice,, Red, Blue and White with slightly different results (effectively a 1+, 2+ and 3+ respectively). What's significant isn't the use of different colored dice with different values, but rather that the dice are obtained in different ways and have value beyond their ability to roll results. Blue dice, or boost dice, are basically free dice as you can use as many as your attack is allowed as often as you want and there no maximum. Red dice, or power dice, are only obtained by doing specific actions (securing buildings, destroying models, destroying buildings, etc) and can be added to any monster attack. They're also necessary to do the games power attacks that are the best sources of damage (you need at least 1 power dice for any power attack and some get greater effect the more dice you roll). Power Dice are also capped at 10 in your pool at any given time. White dice, or Action Dice, are some of the least relevant dice to roll, but the most important to manage. In order to attack, summon a unit, perform an action etc, you need action dice. All of your 10 white dice start in your unit pool and every time you spend them to summon units, attack, whatever, they go into the monster pool. Likewise, whenever your monsters spend dice to attack or perform actions, they go into the unit pool. At the start of each turn, you have to decided if it's a unit turn or a monster turn. You can only take a turn if that model type has at least 1 action dice in it's pool, so even if you have 10 power dice, if all of your action dice are in your unit pool, you have to take a unit turn. A big part of the game is being able to effectively juggle your action dice and keep a steady stream of power dice coming.


A common problem in game design is when the best way to play the game is at odds with the most engaging way to play the game. MonPoc does a better job of managing this than most because the best way to kill other monsters is generally going to be doing power attacks. If I just punch/shoot a monster, it takes 1 damage. If I throw him into a skyscraper, he'll take 1 for the attack, 1 for hitting the building and 1 for being in the resulting flaming wreckage. It's also interesting that while units can do damage to a monster, they're much more action dice intensive i.e. you have to combine a number together to get enough dice to hit a monster's defense and you have a spend 1 action dice for each unit in the attack. Conversely, a monster doing a power attack only needs to spend 1 action dice. In short, it's really hard to do back-to-back unit turns, but not that hard to do back-to-back monster turns if you can keep the power dice flowing. Or to recap, the best way to kill enemy monsters will generally be to have your monsters toss enemy monsters around like a large and angry hot potato.


The game is not without it's failings and for me the buildings is one of them. Not from mechanical standpoint mind you, but more from an out of game perspective. The buildings are generally somewhat bulky pieces of resin between $15-20, they can be annoying to paint and are a bit of **** to transport especially for something that you're allowed to take a dozen of. Getting a good selection of buildings could easily run you as much as the monsters and units combined in terms of dollars and are harder to store and move. It's not a dealbreaker, but I really wish there was a good transport and storage solution for these things and a lower average price point would help a lot too.


Overall, the game gets a firm recommendation from me. It balances it's mechanics well, creates interesting decisions in list creation, setup and on a turn-by-turn basis all of which can be deciding factors. There's also the cool factor where the mechanics favor style points. My last game ended when my Armodax tossed Defender X into a Skyscraper near my Sky Sentinel , then my Sky Sentinel body slammed Defender X into a volcano for the win.

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On ‎3‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 10:08 PM, TopHatGorilla said:

Do the buildings have to be the official ones or will any small scale building work if it fits the map?

 

I'm not sure if they're going to have specific tournament guideline on this. I suspect, because of how wildly different a building can be in terms of stats and rules, that it'll be somewhat strict just to reduce confusion.

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On 3/16/2019 at 10:08 PM, TopHatGorilla said:

Do the buildings have to be the official ones or will any small scale building work if it fits the map?

For tournaments it has to be the official PP buildings from the current release. For casual games, lots of people are using the buildings from the original game. The new ones are much nicer sculpts though.

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1 hour ago, Forgottenlore said:

For tournaments it has to be the official PP buildings from the current release. For casual games, lots of people are using the buildings from the original game. The new ones are much nicer sculpts though.

Thanks. I can't say I'm thrilled about that as it pretty much doubles the cost of entry for anyone who wants to play official events.

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