TTGN Monsterpocalypse Review

The fine folks at TTGN have posted an in depth review of Monsterpocalypse.

I have a preview below:

by Bob Barnetson

Privateer Press will soon be releasing Monsterpocalypse, a collectable miniature game (CMG) based upon kaiju: giant monsters fighting it out for supremacy… oh, and stomping some buildings flat in the process. The game is designed for two players, age 10 and up and comprises starter packs, random boosters and figures available through special offers.

Initial Impressions
Monsterpocalpyse is been the subject of much pre-release publicity, including a very slick website. The components (figures, dice, rules, playing maps) are very nice looking. The prepainted figures are well painted, although the array of different factions and units was hard to make sense of at first.

I was a bit surprised that the rule book ran 60 pages. Obviously, this is a more complex game than other CMGs I’ve played, such as Pirates of the Spanish Main. The quick reference sheets proved very helpful in explaining the basic mechanics of play. That said, I’m not sure the game is suitable for 10-year-olds as is indicated on the booster and starter boxes.



Monsterpocalypse Martian Preview Gallery

 Here are some photos from the Privateer Press Blog featuring some of the models for the Marian Menace Faction


Monsterpocalypse 6th faction previewed.

So I have been following the development of Monsterpocalypse by Privater Press for some time and I have run hot and cold on this game.

I was initially thrilled by the idea of a miniatures wargame based on the kaiju genre. I had hoped for licenced properties, but that was not to be. Still the previous 5 factions; Planet Eaters, Terrasaurs, Lords of Cthul, Shadow Sun Syndicate and and G.U.A.R.D each hail from classic Sci-Fi inspirations from the 50s through to the 90’s and while I find some uninspired personally I have been slowly won over by the overall aesthetic.


My biggest problem with the game is the collectible miniatures model. I hate buying blind starters and boosters. I do like how the game will be split into unit boosters and monster boosters so once you have your monster you can focus only on buying unit boosters and vice versa. Still I don’t want to buy boosters at all. I would be 100% in on this game if it were not a CMG, still the tactic has been very successful at making Wiz Kids and WOTC tons of money, so I can’t blame Privateer Press for wanting to cash in on the trend.


Today, the Monsterpocalypse fan blog MonsterInsider posted a preview of the final faction, The Martian Menace. I have to say this one excites me the most visually. I may just ebay myself a full set of my favorite faction if the game takes off. And if the average player age is over 13, another big concern of mine about it’s future.


Rafe ‘Hollywood’ Granger from The D6 Generation pointed out in the last episode of This Week in Wargaming that he hoped it might be a great game that he could play with his younger son as in introduction to wargaming. This could be it’s niche although the game seems aimed at a little older than his sons current age.


So I will let you take a look at what the guys from MonsterInsider had to say and let you decide for yourself.


UPDATE 7-3-08 ( MARTIAN PREVIEW PICS) click here to go to the pictures of the martial saucer and attack craft.


When I was a kid, my grandmother would talk about a UFO encounter where she and my uncle saw something that looked like a Star Destroyer fly over their car while returning from a fishing trip. I should note that my family lived in the Inland Empire of southern California, the prime location for aircraft flying to and from air bases in Nevada and the southern California desert. When the B-2 stealth bomber was revealed, I put one and one together to make sense of her story. Today, I would not say that I believe in alien visitors, but I would not completely rule it out. I am sure the truth is out there, but finding that truth just is not the same without Scully.

In 1938 Orson Wells turned the American radio listening public on their collective ear with his broadcast of the War of the Worlds. Lots of Greatest Generation Americans believed that aliens from another world had invaded the US. To be honest, those crazy lights over Phoenix in 1997 had me wondering whether or not we were about to make contact with alien visitors, and the reports in 2000 regarding “black triangles” over Illinois are pretty convincing.

So here we are in 2008, and we need to prepare for the next alien invasion. The Martian Menace is an awesome portion of Monsterpocalypse. While kind of born out of the kaiju genre, they draw their major influences from 1950s and 60s science fiction – which on the street of movie genres, live right next door to the early kaiju movies. The faction contains flying saucers inspired by the flying discs of yesteryear and three-legged walkers inspired by H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds. The Martian Menace really feels right at home with the likes of Terra Kahn and Gorghadra as alien invaders have a long tradition as antagonists in kaiju films. Some alien faction was always summoning or building some monster to wreak havoc on the Earth and challenge the protagonist monster.

The Menace have simple goals: world domination through complete subjugation of the human species in order to harvest the Earth’s resources. Mars is a dead planet. The Martians depleted their own natural resources and put nearly their entire population into hibernation until their engineers and scientist could develop a fleet of ships capable of conquering the Earth. Evidentially the $4.30 a gallon we pay for gas has not dissuaded them from coming for our resources. Perhaps the prospect of Congressman Cannon’s Oil Shale bill has them excited?

Game-wise the Martian Menace may be one of the best factions in terms of producing Power Dice with minimal dedication to securing buildings or holding lots of Power Zones. The Power Pod units are certainly the most important figures in this regard in the Martian Menace arsenal. Though slow on its own, faster Saucer units can put this pod in place by using the Saucer’s Transport ability and the pod’s companion Cargo ability. The Power Pod’s Amplify ability allows you to gain two Power Dice instead of one for holding a Power Zone. With just a couple of Power Pods holding Power Zones, you can start to generate a good amount of Power Dice every turn. Also units like the Vanguard (with its Power Gorge ability to produce two Power Dice instead of one when it destroys a unit) gives the Martians a nice dice-advantage during play.

The Ares Mothership may be one of the most frustrating monsters to face. In her Ultra form she gains the Negation ability, which prevents Power Attacks within two spaces of her. This limits her opponent’s attack options, and it takes a while to grind her down. Her companion, the walker pod Deimos-9, grants the Hit and Run ability to all of your units. That ability allows you to attack and then move with your units, which is valuable for shooting a unit then retreating behind rough terrain, seeking cover, or just advancing deeper into enemy territory to harass units trying to secure buildings or hold Power Zones. Things just get worse and worse for your opponent when you move into your Ultra form. Deimos gains Lightning Attack (you can make a second brawl attack against the same target when you hit). When accompanied by Penetrator (reduces target’s defense versus brawl attacks) and Siphon (target loses a Power Die and you gain a Power Die when you hit), this allows Deimos to become quite the machine for suppressing your opponent’s Power Dice while delivering damage and gaining additional Power Dice. That’s a four Power Dice swing and two points of damage when you hit with your brawl attack.

The Martians are a crafty faction to play. They hit fast, gain Power Dice like no other faction, and they have a touch of Power Dice denial that can really send your opponent’s best laid plans to the cornfield.

When I first saw the Ares Mothership, I knew I wanted to play this faction. To me there is something really cool about taking something like the kaiju genre and making it your own by interjecting related and similar concepts and expanding those concepts, like we did with the Lords of Cthul and the Martian Menace. It broadens the appeal and makes it uniquely Monsterpocalypse. When you put that on top of a great game, you have a game worth playing. My friends, Monsterpocalypse is that game!