Saturday, November 20, 2010

Showdown In Smashville

Hello everyone and welcome to a monstrous edition of the Dispatch!

For this installment, we are going to dive into a little bit of kaiju madness! What is this madness I speak of? Read on and find out!

Putting The Monster Into The 'Pocalypse
Taking A Closer Look At Monsterpocalypse

Like a lot of people, I grew up on watching kaiju battle it out on a Saturday afternoon. Godzilla vs Mothra. Godzilla vs King Kong. Godzilla vs... well, pretty much anyone they could dream up! Sure they were cheesy and silly but damn if they weren't fun to watch!

Fast forward to 2008 and Privateer Press, makers of Warmachine and Hordes, release their own pre-painted kaiju miniature game, Monsterpocalype! A giant monster miniature game?!?!? Have I died and gone to heavan? That's aweso... wait... what do you mean it's collectible. Seriously, are you kidding me? Well, so much for that then...

Yeah, that pretty much summed up my feelings about Monsterpocalypse. Tons of potential thrown out the window by making it a collectible game. Sure, you could scour over eBay and online stores, digging threw their singles collections in the hopes of being able to put together an army but even then you probably wouldn't be able to find what you want.

Fast forward again to... well, right now actually. My friend Pat had been singing the praises of Monpoc for a while and I finally decided to give it a try. He has a couple of armies already so no skin off my nose, right? Let me tell you, I'm glad I did.

Dice management is the name of the game in Monpoc. Want to spawn a unit? You need to spend and action die. Move a unit? That will be one more die please. Oh, and now you want to attack as well? Well aren't we feeling ambitious! That will cost you... well, however many die you want to roll. The interesting twist to this is that when you "spend" these action dice, you are actually transferring them over to your monster. This creates an interesting dynamic between the two aspects of the game as you move the dice from one side to the other which can get even more interesting as you get further into the game. The enemy monster is getting close to your own. Do you have enough dice on your monster to take the battle to them or did you move them all over to your units last turn? What about you opponent? Is he holding some dice on his monster or will he be forced to activate his units instead? All of this adds to the game play in Monpoc as you try to out maneuver and out guess your opponents next action.

This might be easy to do if all the units had identical stats but that is definitely not the case here! All of the units basic stats and special rules are clearly marked on the base so you can tell at a glance what a unit can and can't do. It does take a little bit to get used to what all the different icon mean, but once you get the hang of it I can see the game moving along at a pretty good clip.

So the mechanics seem pretty solid and the game play is pretty smooth, but what about the collectible aspect? Well, Privateer finally took steps to address this by releasing a new two player starter set. Unlike their previous offerings which included a random building, monster, and units potentially from all six factions, this new starter comes with six buildings, two monsters, and thirteen units for each of the factions, giving you a very solid foundation to build on right off the bat. Yes, the two factions that are in the box are still random but at least now you will be starting with an army for that faction instead of just a unit or two. Definitely a plus in my book.

And that is Monsterpocalypse! If you haven't checked it out, I definitely recommend giving it a shot. Fun and fast paced, I think this is a good addition to the gaming library of anyone that loves the idea of two giant monsters throwing it down in a city near you. Yes, it's still a collectible game but at least the new two player starter makes the game that much more accessible.

The Parting Shot

And that wraps up another issue of the Dispatch. If you feel like checking out Monsterpocalypse, either pick up the two player starter from your FLGS or see if they have a press ganger that can demo it for you. Normally I would not recommend a CMG but in this I case I gotta make an exception as I think this is definitely a game worth looking into.

As always, thanks for checking out the blog and if you have any questions or comments, feel free to either leave them right here on the blog or you can drop me an email at SinCitySnowman@gmail.com. Until next time...

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