In this article, we are going to focus on the mechanics of a game turn, Monster Power Attacks, and combined unit attacks. Getting to grips with these game aspects really helps you set up winning strategies.
The Game Turn
In Monsterpocalypse, there are two different but very similar game turns, depending on whether you are activating a monster or a unit. Each turn is divided into phases that must occur in order.
A Unit Game Turn
- Spawn Phase
The active player can spend Action Dice to bring new units into play (depending on their available units in their unit reserve) on their side’s spawn points, or on neutral spawn points they control. Each unit has an Action Dice recruitment cost depending on its strength. Generally, the cost is one die for a grunt unit, two for an elite unit.
- Advancement Phase
All units can move a maximum number of spaces equal to their speed. There are three types of terrain: open, rough, or impassable. Entering rough terrain costs 2 movement points.
- Attack Phase
Using Action Dice from their Unit Pool, each miniature can launch a Blast or Brawl attack depending on its stats.
4. Push Phase
If there are any dice left in the Unit Pool, they can be transferred to the Monster Pool.
A Monster Game Turn
The only difference from a Unit Turn is the first phase, the Spawn Phase is replaced by the Power Phase. During the Power Phase, the player receives as many Power Dice as there are Power zones controlled by their units (one unit is occupying the power zone) and buildings secured (three units are adjacent to the building). Note that some special buildings, once secured, give advantages to your entire force.
The other three phases (Advancement Phase, Attack Phase and Push Phase) are identical to those detailed in the paragraph on a units’ turn.
Size and Monster Powers
Monsters are at the heart of your tactics. Firstly, they are more mobile. In addition to their movement during the Advancement Phase, monsters can “walk”(step) during the Advancement Phase or Attack Phase. Stepping is spending an Action Die to move one space (including diagonally, even if you do it several times in a row). This can be used to get your monster close to a target before it moves, or to carefully retreat and get out of range or line of sight of an enemy after making an attack. Or position yourself in such a way as to avoid being thrown against a building. Monsters ignore the movement constraints of units and can therefore move over impassable or rough terrain penalty free. They can move through spaces occupied by enemy units. The only movement constraint they face is that they must move around buildings and other monsters and cannot end their movement on a space occupied by a model (allied, enemy, or even City asset models).
Most importantly, all monsters have six power attacks: Rampage, Swat, Ram, Stomp, Throw, and Body Slam.
To trigger a power attack, you must use at least one Action Die (white) and one Power Die (red). If the attack is successful, that is, if it equals or exceeds the target’s defense score, it inflicts one damage point. More importantly, there is an additional, very cinematic effect that immediately evokes images from Kaijū movies or TV shows (in addition to being tremendously effective). Often, this is will be an attack that targets multiple models and assets. In this case, the single dice roll will be compared individually to the defense of each eligible target.
Let’s look at the list of Rad moves in detail:
– Rampage: Imagine that your monster, like a bull scratching at the ground with its hoof, takes off and, in a show of savagery, crushes everything in its path! That’s the Rampage effect!
This power attack cannot take place if the monster has previously moved during the Advancement Phase (but it can take place if it has simply stepped). During this power attack, the monster makes a move using the full maximum distance allowed by its SPD (head down) and ravages everything in its path (if its dice roll has equaled or exceeded the defense of the targets in its path). Units and buildings hit in this way are destroyed, while an opposing monster stops the movement cold. Great for destroying Main Street in one shot!
– Swat: your monster hits a unit adjacent to them, and like an American Football quarterback, smashes it into another target up to 5 spaces away. The swatted unit is destroyed, and the target takes one damage point (and is therefore destroyed if it’s another unit or a standard building).
– Ram: remember when a friend was taunting you from across the table… you ever wanted to flip it and clip their nose? That’s what Ram allows you to do. If an opposing monster is on the other side of a building, you Ram the building aligned to your monster so that it collapses on the monster and any opposing units on the other side of that building, up to 4 spaces away.
– Stomp: Your monster strikes a large circular blow with its tail, or leg, or stomps its feet to damage units and flip hazards adjacent or under it. Units are destroyed and you flip all hazards that are under or adjacent to the stomping monster. Incidentally, this special attack allows you to extinguish flaming hazards (and avoid taking a damage point every time you step on them).
– Throw: Hand-to-hand combat turns wrestling match! Your monster grabs an opposing monster it’s aligned with and throws it as many spaces as the number of power dice used in the attack. The thrown monster collides with (and takes extra damage from) the building(s) it lands on. You can drop them on top of flaming ruin hazards as well, this attack causes some serious pain!
– Body Slam: This attack is only possible when two monsters are aligned (the entire edge of their base touches each other). A tight move by the attacker slams their opponent down to the ground and moves them to another space adjacent and aligned to the attacking monster. So, on the right or left side of the attacking monster, or even behind it in a kind of “Samoan Drop” to use wrestling terms (we watch on YouTube!). Once again, when the body slammed monsters hits its landing area, that collision causes additional injuries and destroys units on that destination space.
For the board game, we have created a game aid that lists these different monster power attacks (and the terrain and movement icons of monsters and units) and that is integrated with the new, individualized dice track (one per player), so all the relevant information will be right there in front of you for the entire game.
Power Attacks are so effective that you’ll quickly want to perform one per turn. But to do this, you must manage your supply of Power Dice. Because a Power Dice played is very definitely spent, it does not automatically return to the Power Dice Pool (unlike blue Boost Dice, for example).
Managing your Power Dice supply is therefore an important issue. As mentioned above, you gain Power Dice based on the areas you control and the buildings you secure. There are other ways to gain Power Dice outside of the Power Phase. Each time one of your attacks (not necessarily a monster attack) destroys a building, you gain two Power Dice. Secure or destroy? that’s a total dilemma! Additionally, any destruction of an enemy unit earns you a Power Die.
Units, fragile but indispensable!
Weaker defense, only one Health point, less powerful attacks… units don’t really appear that attractive. However, they are essential to the balance of your force.
First of all, units are the only models able to control different objective spaces. The game board contains neutral spawn points with an associated Activator space, often in the heart of the battlefield rather than at the edge. Controlling the right Activators will ensure that the new units you recruit are deployed closer to your opponent (and therefore faster).
Other types of objective spaces include power zones, which are essential for supplying your monsters with red dice. There are also negative zones, which allow you to reduce an opponent’s power reserve by one red die during your own power phase.
Securing buildings with three adjacent units requires more resources. But with good maneuvering in a dense city center, a unit can participate in securing several buildings (before a big monster destroys everything in its path, as usual!). Securing standard buildings isn’t that cool (gaining only one Power Die during the Power Phase), but all special buildings provide bonuses, like for example, Industrial Complex which increases the advancement speed stat of all your models by 1.
Finally, units can still threaten monsters, such as the squadrons of biplanes circling King Kong perched on a building. Units can totally combine their attacks. When you declare a Blast or Brawl attack, in addition to the unit initiating the attack, you can select as many units as you want that can make the same type of attack. Each additional unit in the combined attack can only participate if you spend a white Action Die for each of them. But this allows you to add all the blue Boost Dice for each attack, significantly increasing your chances of scoring a hit. On average, you’ll need four units in a combined attack to hope to damage an opposing monster.
These combined attacks are a real threat to a monster that’s a little too brave and wanders into the heart of your setup on its own.
That’s all for today Kaiju fans! With this second article on game mechanics (the fourth in fact, if you count the intro and the article on differences and new features!), you already have a thorough knowledge of the game system. Now you just have to check out the monster and unit stat cards to comprehend the power of this or that Model and start organizing your forces, contemplate your tactics and prepare for the Monsterpocalypse!
Monsterpocalypse Board Game
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