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Subject: Strategy Tips & General guidelines applied to a replay rss

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Monsters Menace America: Strategy Guide

For the following strategy tips, I’ll use a sample game of four players (A to D), that can be replayed step by step. The game is played “realistically”, meaning, some of the moves and strategies may be suboptimal, but then a commentary will be added.

The first thing is determining the first player. For easier understanding, player A will be first, then B, then C, and finally D.

1) Monster selection

Player A has all the monsters available to be selected. He takes Toxicor. This monster’s special ability certainly provides advantages for the final challenge, and should always be picked among the first. Player B’s choice is Tomanagi. Notice that a lot of the most valuable cities are all located in the coast, where Tomanagi provides an extra die. Also, being able to move through all types of water allows you to avoid some undesired encounters with military units. The more options, the better! Megaclaw would have been a good option too, and it is what player C gets. His obvious strategy will be stomping infamy sites and amassing as much infamy tokens as possible, while not becoming too weak. Finally, player D chooses Gargantis. This monster’s special ability can be pretty useful in the final challenge too.

[I think player B should have chosen Megaclaw or Gargantis, but that’s only an opinion]

Zorb has an interesting ability too. Konk, much to my dislike, has probably the weakest special power It always seemed weird to me that he had the special ability to kill planes, when in the movie it was planes that killed King Kong. I think this monster needs a special power… Anyway, I love monkeys after all and I sometimes pick Konk just for the fun of it.

Next is picking a military branch. Player D begins picking the Army. This branch is probably the best due to the 5 value in defense of the tanks. If you gather four or five of them, you can start chasing monsters around the board, and get a military research cards every time you make a monster retreat.
The Navy, picked by player C, and the Air Force, picked by player B, are the second best options. Probably the Navy is better due to the possible dual use of the subs/nukes. In the older version the Navy was even better due to the 6 in defense of submarines.
Finally, the Marines are the weakest branch in this game (after the National Guard), and is what player D gets. Their units have weaker defenses and are slower than the rest. The only “good” thing is the ability to deploy 3 of their own units instead of 2. It still doesn’t make them any better, except if you manage to draw Anti-mutagen or Scientific analysis. In that case, you would be able to attack and damage all three other players on your turns. Sometimes anti-mutagen can be deadly that way.

[Since I wrote this article, I've been thinking about this last statement, and the marine's ability of deploying three units of their own branch per turn can be pretty good, because it's easy to have six units deployed and ready to hunt down a monster or to defend an important spot. This only confirms what I suspected... this game is more balanced than those who claim it's only a dicefest think]

2) First Turn

On the first turn, all you do is select your starting lair and deploy units. This is a pretty important step in the game and it’s one of the first real choices a player makes. You should have a scheme of your strategy for this game when you select a lair. Let’s say you want your monster to mutate, you probably should plan to operate on the western part where there are three mutation sites. That’s probably also a good idea if your plan is to get lots of infamy. If your aim is to get lots of health points, the North East coast is the optimal area. You can also go for a little bit of everything, in which case, you can more or less start anywhere.
Ok, so player A (Toxicor), decides to start the game in the space between Ottawa and Toronto. This is a discussable manoeuver. Since Toxicor’s special power is getting the best mutation cards, he should go for mutation sites… But in this game it’s also important to get things so that other players don’t get them. Player A thinks “I’m the first one moving, so I’m going to stomp New York, then a 2d city, and possibly a third, then disappear and finish the game mutating like crazy”. Being the first in moving gives some advantage. There’s also a mutation site there, so he plans to use it, too.

After that, he deploys 3 National Guard tanks in the west coast in San Francisco, LA and San Diego. That way, there will be less of those units facing him!

Player B (Tomanagi) thinks about his possibilities. The first one would be to start in the Pacific Ocean, near LA. The problem is if the Navy deploys in the sea hex (and that’s why player C had to choose the Navy and not the Air Force), considering Gargantis is in play, the chances he gets those sweet 3d health are low. Worst even, he may not get to San Francisco before Gargantis! He could still get San Diego (2 infamy and 1d in one move is not bad at all) The other basic option could be start in the Atlantic, and compete with Toxicor for those cities in the East coast. He could probably get two 2d cities, maybe even three. Also, since he can move in sea spaces, he has better moving possibilities than Toxicor. The last possibility is beginning in the Gulf of Mexico and stomping on his own the South… not the best option. He decides to start in the Atlantic Ocean.

[Once again, one could argue if this is or not the best option. In terms of game balance, it’s good that a monster is not by himself in the East Coast. In terms of the best option for Tomanagi, maybe he should have tried the West Coast, start stomping San Diego, and defend LA with National Guard Units. With a little luck Gargantis may fail to stomp LA, and then Tomanagi gets it. Negotiations with the Navy are also plausible.]

After that, he deploys three other National Guard tanks in San Francisco, LA, and San Diego. The more stuff on the West coast, the less they’ll find in the east coast! Plus, it’s building up over there.

[If he had followed the strategy outlined previously, he could have deployed 2 National Guard units and then 1 of his units elsewhere, probably a better option, too]

Player C (Megaclaw) obviously wants infamy sites, but before that, he’d sure like to grab some health points. The only reachable, and so far uncontested, 2d city is Chicago, so he starts in his Canadian lair. The other two lairs are, IMO, worse options, except at the end of the game if you want to be close to a challenge site.

Without the immediate threat of Tomanagi over LA, player C decides to deploy two subs one in San Diego, one in Boston, and a jet from the National Guard in LA. Player C prefered not to use those two National Guard units, because he would have only deployed two units that way. In this way he allocates three units, and starts building up his own forces on the map (although they usually don’t last!)

Finally, player D (Gargantis) thinks for a second about it and sees the whole West Coast all for himself… Any doubts of what to do? Once again, the other lairs seem more useful in the later part of the game to approach a challenge site.

Then player D deploys two tanks, one next to New York and the other one in Charlotte. He also deploys the last National Guard jet in Boston, to start building up some force to protect at least one 2d city.

Notice that there’s no way to stop Toxicor from reaching New York in the first turn (unless someone would have drawn some research card like Blonde Lure, Laser Fence or Chopper Lift), because the challenge site and mutation spot on the way to NY are not eligible hexes to deploy either National Guard units nor from other branches.

So… that’s the end of the first turn.

SECOND TURN

Every player has most of his moves planned ahead from the previous turn, so this one will go fast.

Player A, as expected, moves to New York, finding no opposition, and stomps the city. He rolls three dice and gets… 11 health points. So his monster goes up in health to 20 points. Good start! Now deployment allows player A to place three marine fighters in San Diego and the two bases adjacent to it, to start building up some force against Gargantis.

[Note: optimal play in my opinion would have been deploying in the marine corps base southeast of Richmond, because that way, Tomanagi cannot reach a good spot on his first turn… or even more deployment in the east coast may prevent Tomanagi from getting anywhere worth it… But real gaming is never perfect!]

Player B moves to the hex southeast of DC/Baltimore, where there are two military bases. That way he can get two infamy tokens, not caring about the fact that he is actually stomping one of his own bases. Tomanagi gets two infamy tokens and a trophy from his own pool (a fighter) and another one from the air force (another jet).Again, no encounters. Deployment is a missile to the Florida panhandle base and a missile in Kansas city.

Player C moves Megaclaw to Chicago, which is unguarded. He also moves the sub from San Diego to LA. Then he rolls 2d with a result of 10 (lucky roll!), bringing his health up to 22. Deployment allows for placement of a sub in Boston and a plane in San Diego. Don’t forget that San Diego is a great hex to stomp (1d health and 2 infamy tokens!)

Player D faces a crucial decision. Go for LA (four units there, one of them a sub), go for San Diego (four units) or San Francisco (two units). He decides to take his chances and heads toward… LA! Before going on, he moves the two tanks to DC/Baltimore… You gotta protect the capital!

[I would not have moved those tanks to Washington DC which is clearly the best city to stomp next. It would have been better to spread them and when 4 of them would be on the board, begin chasing other monsters]

Finally, some conflict! Gargantis rolls first in the first combat round, while player C first declares that the sub won’t launch the missile (this is better for defensive purposes). On the first roll, Gargantis will target the plane, rolling a horrible 1. He tries again and rolls a 5, destroying it. Then he aims at one of the tanks and rolls a 6… now wishing he had aimed those last two rolls at the sub! It’s the military units’ turn. They roll a 4 and a five, causing 2 points damage. In the second and last round, first Gargantis attacks the tank, rolling a 6, and now aims two rolls at the sub, rolling a 1 and a 3… Not good enough. Now the sub attacks rolling a 6! Smash hit! Two more points. Gargantis wishes he had gone for San Francisco! Then the monster retreats to the hex north of LA, which is where he came from. The armed forces have been successful in protecting the city!... for the moment…
Deployment allows for placement of two more tanks in the same bases as the previous turn and one National Guard tank in Boston

[Note: Maybe deploying the three available national guard units would have been slightly better, since that way they won’t be deployed to face him again in the west coast… but having four tanks on the board already is too tempting, I guess]

All but Gargantis have increased up their health. Let’s move on to the next turn.

TURN THREE

Player A takes the easy road and attacks Philadelphia. He also moves the three marine fighters to LA.
No encounters this turn, just stomping. He rolls a total of seven points and Toxicor is now up to 27 points. Time to deploy: he deploys one marine jet in San Diego, a NG (National Guard) tank in San Francisco and one NG fighter in LA.

Player B moves to DC/Baltimore, while launching each of the missiles he deployed in the previous turn to Megaclaw (Attacking Toxicor with nukes is even riskier, for a roll of 1 will allow him to start choosing mutations). First he decides to solve the nukes. Megaclaw rolls first, not rolling any 6s. Then it’s the missiles turn… Oh No! The roll is a 1 and a 3. That means a miss and a mutation.. So Megaclaw draws a mutation card: “Atomic Recovery”, which is not really something Megaclaw seems to need right now (but Gargantis could really use it!)
Now Tomanagi faces the two tanks. He rolls two 3s and a 5, destroying a tank. The tank fires back, rolling a 3. Second round, Tomanagi rolls another five and destroys the tank and stomps DC, for a total of 7 more health. He also gets an infamy token for destroying a Marine Corps base. The marines give a rocket launcher from their pool as a trophy.
Then for deployment he draws a military research card. It is “Chopper Lift” which he uses inmediatly to move Megaclaw three spaces northwest, to the hex southwest of the Talking Paul Bunyan Statue infamy site. This is mainly to prevent this monster from reaching Detroit…. Toamanagi wants it for himself!

Player C, seeing he is now unable to reach Detroit figures he should start gathering as much infamy as possible. The best hexes in that regard along the board are Vegas Strip, Ok Corral, The Alamo and Cape Canaveral, for the presence of a military base provides one extra infamy token.
Megaclaw decides to head towards west, and gets to Carhenge, in order to have many options later (he could either head to a mutation site, another infamy site or try to reach either LA or san Diego later on). He decides not to move his units this turn.
After receiving 3 infamy tokens, he decides to draw a military research card, which is “Blonde Lure”. Megaclaw decides to keep this card for later in the game. This card can be very useful in the end game.

Now, player D obviously needs health points. He could go for Phoenix which is not defended , try the very well guarded LA again (after all, monsters (and players) have fixations too!), or try San Francisco, while it still only has NG units. He decides to take his chances again and heads to San Francisco. He also moves the tank in Charlotte to the base south of Ottawa.
In the encounter phase Gargantis rolls two 5s and a 4… Good enough!
He then rolls two dice obtaining 9 health. Not bad!
In the deploy phase, he decides to deploy those NG tanks in Toronto, Cleveland and Columbus. This way, he makes sure neither Tomanagi nor Toxicor will reach Detrotit this turn. It also starts building up a “net” of units in the east that can delay monsters and leave them stuck there. This would have worked better earlier and for only one monster, but it’s still not a bad idea, and it also ensures Gargantis won’t face these same three tanks soon.


TURN FOUR

Player A decides it’s time to mutate and then get out of that area which is starting to be crowded. He thinks a bout attacking Gargantis with four planes…He has his doubts… If he succeeds he would get a research card, and force Gargantis to move north of San Francisco, out of reach of LA for the turn… Decisions, decisions… Ok, he’s not doing it. He’d rather build up an absurd amount of units and then attack. Besides, Gargantis is not really the biggest threat now.
So he draws two mutation cards: Fins and Gills and Iron Stomach. Unfortunately none of them are really great. He takes “Fins and Gills” for the /1 in defense it provides in hexes with water barriers. Two of the challenge sites have water barriers so this could also benefit him in the final challenge… We’ll see!
In the deploy phase, he deploys three rocket launchers in the bases west of LA.

Player B looks at his options and thinks about stomping Cleveland or Toronto. He fears being trapped there later, so he decides to start heading South and moves to Atlanta. He only rolls a lousy 1, for a total of 19 health.
Then he deploys two cruise missiles, one in Vegas Strp and one in Ok Corral.

Player C decides to move to the Nevada Test Site. That way he leaves Gargantis little good moves for his next turn. Poor Gargantis! He also decides to launch two missiles, one to Gargantis and one to Toxicor, and moves the plane in San Diego to LA (to maintain a preventive force. Toxicor destroys the missile headed towards him, and so does Gargantis.
Then he draws his mutation card, which is Laser Beam Eyes. Not one of my favourites…
In the deploy phase, he puts a new missile in Boston and another one in San Diego.

Player D then decides it’s a good moment to screw Megaclaw’s plans too. He heads towards the Vegas Strp, to prevent player C from getting that infamy site. He also moves his tanks one to Toronto and one to Cleveland. This way, if Toxicor attacks, he will only destroy one of the tanks.
Gargantis faces his encounter with a missile. He rolls first and destroys it. Then he gets 3 infamy tokens and a trophy (a fighter) from the Air Force. Only ten more stomp markers to go!
Finally, he deploys two tanks, one in Nashville and one northwest of Kansas City.

TURN FIVE

Player A doesn’t like what he’s facing and decides to disappear. He also moves two planes and three rocket launchers around Gargantis and attacks Megaclaw. He also leaves two planes in LA.
Megaclaw targets the rocket launchers and destroys two of them in the first round. Then the marines hit with both planes and miss with the remainig rocket launcher, taking Megaclaw’s health down to 20. Then, Megaclaw, rolling one die at a time targets the rocket launcher, rolling a 1, a 2 and a 3. So he destroys it, but there are still two planes there. So should he use his infamy to try to destroy them? If he does so, he’ll probably be able to attack LA this turn, so it’s probably worth it. First roll is a 1…. Second is a 3… There’s no way he can do it, so he saves the last infamy token. The planes shoot and roll a 6 (smash hit) and a four, for a total of three less health points… Megaclaw is forced to move to the hex southwest of Salt Lake City and the marines have saved the day!
Player A also draws a research card for defeating a monster which turns out being “Laser Fence”. To finish, he deploys three rocket launchers, one in San Diego, and one in each of the two bases North and Northwest of San Diego.

Player B moves to St Louis and launches a missile to Gargantis. Gargantis destroys the missile and Tomanagi gets 4 more health points. Tomanagi would like the final challenge to take place in a space in the coast because he would have an extra attack in the first round, but that would be too powerful for Toxicor due to his recent mutation. On the other hand, he’d like mutations, especially now that the good ones are more likely to come up…. So he’ll be heading west and forget about those challenge sites!
In the deployment, he draws a research card… “Guard Commander”! That’s a good card right now.

Player C heads to the Ok corral and launches the two missiles in Boston to Tomanagi (also to be able to rebuild them in the west coast in the next deployment phase) and moves the missile in San Diego to LA. Tomanagi destroys one of the missiles, and the other one hits him causing three points of damage, bringing him down to 20 health. Then he gets four infamy tokens and the Air force gives one trophy (a fighter). In the deployment phase, he places one missile in San Diego and one in the base next to it.

Player D now has the option of attacking San Diego, LA, Phoenix or mutate. He doesn’t want to push his luck and goes for the mutation at the Nevada Test Site, where he faces two planes. He also moves his tanks: one northeast of Kansas City, one northwest of Indianapolis, one southwest of Detroit, and one south of Detroit. That way, Tomanagi will not reach Detroit in his next turn.
In the encounter phase both planes are eliminated right away, and then the monster mutates… It’s “Radiation field”… Not really good. Gargantis now deploys one tank northwest of Kansas City and one missile launcher in Nashville.

TURN SIX

Player A appears in his lair south of Portland (pretty predictable). He also moves one rocket launcher to LA and one to San Diego. He can’t move Toxicor this turn, so he decides to deploy two planes west of San Diego, to prevent Megaclaw from reaching LA.

Player B moves Tomanagi to Dallas and then one of the NG Tanks near Detroit to Indianapolis and the other two to the space where St Louis used to be, in an attempt to bring the units to the west.
Tomanagi stomps Dallas and gets one lousy point! (Total health:21)
In the deployment phase he draws a research card (with all those NG units on the board he does not need more units right now): “Anti-mutagen”. Good card!

Player C goes to Roswell to mutate and a missile to LA (the West coast has been well guarded in this game!) He draws “Berserk”, which is a good card (five extra attacks!). In the deployment phase he draws a research card and gets “Scientific Analysis”. Great card too!

Player D now moves to the Experimental Breeder Reactor #1 to mutate and he moves his units to almost surround Tomanagi (Rocket launcher to Austin, a tank northwest of Austin, another one northeast, a tank southeast of Tulsa, another northwest and one north of Tulsa. Next turn… massive attack! This will also prevent Tomanagi from reaching Houston or The Alamo. Talks between Player D and A have accorded to collaborate so that Megaclaw does not reach these sites either (although, they may not be able to do it).
The mutation is “High Octane Blood”. Great mutation! This way, he makes sure his always hitting first in the final challenge. It also makes it important for Gargantis to get infamy tokens, and for the other players to be aware!! He then deploys two rocket launchers, one in Austin and one in Denver.

[This mutation is key in the balance for the Final Challenge. Gargantis can concentrate on infamy to knock his opponents before they even touch him]

TURN SEVEN

Player A moves to the Nevada Test Site, and the two planes outside San Diego one southeast of Roswell and the other south of this one. The rest of his units move to the VLA Radio Telescope Infamy Site. That way, Megaclaw could only reach The Alamo, but not Houston. The mutation cards are “It’s a Robot” and Winged Horror. He picks “It’s a Robot” for it’s an awesome card in the end… You’ll see’
In the deployment phase, he draws a research card, Cutbacks, which he keeps.

Player B moves to Denver (that way he gets away from three army units), and moves his NG units one to Kansas City, two southwest of Kansas City, and also moves one tank in San Diego Northwest of San Diego, one north of LA, and a plane northeast of San Diego.
He faces then the missile launcher, which shoots first, rolling a 6 and scoring two points. Tomanagi then rolls two 1s and a 2… horrible! The launcher attacks again, and fails. In the second round, Tomanagi destroys the unit and stomps the place, rolling a 1! Again! He also gets an infamy token.
In the deployment phase he deploys two missiles, one in Kansas City, and one on his base two hexes away from Winnipeg.

Player C goes for Phoenix and launches 3 missile units towards… Gargantis. (Toxicor is too risky for the missiles), and attacks Toxicor with a plane (to reduce at least one of his health due to the Scientific Analysis card).
So, Gargantis starts losing one health point due to the scientific analysis card. Then he rolls a 6, a 2 and 1, and decides not to use any infamy. One of the missiles hits and the other misses. Now Gargantis is down to 11 health points.
Then Toxicor loses one health and shoots at the plane, destroying it.
Then Megaclaw rolls for stomping Phoenix and gets one lousy point. Then he deploys two missiles in San Diego and next to it.

Player D moves to Seattle (he now reaches that, thanks to High Octane Blood). He also moves 4 tanks to attack Tomanagi and one tank southeast of him, and two rocket launcher in the hex south of this one.
Tomanagi attacks first and destroys a tank. The tanks fight back and score two hits. He then fails all the rolls for the second round. The tanks make two more damage points (bringing the monster down to a total of 15). Tomanagi is then moved to the space northeast of Albuquerque. Then player D gets a research card: “Stabilizer Ray”.
Gargantis then stomps Seattle, getting 3 points and an infamy token

TURN EIGHT

Player A moves to the Experimental Breeder Reactor #1 and launches all his marines towards Megaclaw. He also uses “Cutbacks” to get rid of the “Anti-mutagen” card…. It’s too dangerous for a monster like Toxicor.

Megaclaw destroys two rocket launchers and decides to keep infamy for the moment. The marines make 3 damage. The monster destroys the last rocket launcher and fails against the planes. Should he use the infamy? (this is questionable, but he decides to keep it for the final challenge). They make 4 more points of damage, which brings Megaclaw down to 11. The marines then draw a research card: “Fusion cells”. Megaclaw retreats to the space north of VLA radio Telescope.
In the mutation draw phase, he draws Atomic breath and War Spikes, which is what he keeps. Then he deploys three rocket launchers in San Diego and the bases east of it.

Player B would like to mutate, but that will leave him very close to those tanks and the marines… he could also go for The Alamo, which seems more wise now. He also moves his NG tanks, two south of Denver, and one northeast of Denver. Then he launches both missiles to Toxicor…But they both fail!
He gets three infamy tokens for The Alamo and now there are only three stomp markers to go!
He deploys the missiles where he did last time.

Player C immediately goes up to 12 health (due to Atomic Recovery) and moves to Old Faithful. Not forgetting the threat Gargantis represents, he also shoots a missile to him, and another to Toxicor (reducing one health automatically due to Scientific Analysis) Due to that, Gargantis mutates (Kinda friendly) while Toxicor destroys the weapon. He then gets three infamy (for a total of seven). He also uses Blonde Lure to force Toxicor to move to the space south of Salt Lake City (so that he is reachable to all military units and won’t reach a mutation site)
He then deploys two nukes (One in San Diego and one Nortwest of Seattle)

Player D moves to Vancouver and all the army deployed units southeast of Salt lake City. He rolls a three for stomping Seattle, and gets a research card (X-fighters). Only one stomp marker left!

TURN NINE

Player A is forced to move south of Salt Lake City and then moves all his planes in order to attack Megaclaw and the rocket launchers to Rowell (in case Tomanagi decides to mutate). Megaclaw destroys two fighters in the first round. They hit him once. Then he fails in the second round. The fighters don’t hit him, but they force him to retreat to Experimental Breeder #1.
Deployment brings two new fighters north and northeast of San Diego

Player B moves to Roswell (you have to mutate!), and moves two tanks coming from the east to attack Toxicor, and one tank northwest of Royal Gorge Bridge. He also attacks with a missile, and sends one more missile to Gargantis. Not only that, but he also attacks Toxicor with one tank northeast of LA and the plane southeast of LA, and moves the tank North of LA to that spot (So that Toxicor would not reach LA )… So, on with the attacks!
Toxicor destroys all the attacking units, except the missile which hits, bringing his health down to 22.
The missile sent to Gargantis also hits, with a roll of 6, so he scores 4 points and Gargantis is down to twelve.
Now Tomanagi attacks the three rocket launchers, destroying two in the first round, and the other in the last.
Now is time to mutate… and he gets “Whip Tentacles”. A good mutation, although “Armored Scales” would have been better.
He also deploys two NG tanks outside San Diego and a missile two spaces west of Winnipeg.

Player C decides to trigger the end game. He figures he’s not going to get much stronger and thanks to Atomic Recovery he cannot really go down a lot, so he goes for even more infamy to Mt Rushmore, and more importantly, sends two missiles to Toxicor, using Stabilizer Ray in the attack. Toxicor destroys one missile. The remaining missile misses miserably with a one and now Toxicor mutates again! The mutations are not very useful: Rampage and Iron Stomach. He chooses Iron Stomach.
Then he deploys two missiles, one north of Portland, and one in San Diego

Player D with his High-octane blood figures out that some more infamy is what he really needs (plus there’s not much else he can get), so he goes for Grand Coulee Dam, getting two infamy tokens. Of course he also launches a massive attack on Toxicor with all the army.

[This move should have been prevented using Laser Fence… but people sometimes forget they have cards!]

The two missile launchers hit. Then Toxicor attacks, destroying both of them. Now it’s time for the four tanks, two of which hit. On the second round, Toxicor destroys… Three tanks! And then, the tank hits again (total health 17). Toxicor is moved to Salt Lake City.
Player D draws a research card which is “2nd Generation”. In the deployment phase he also draws one more card… Mecha Monster.

TURN TEN

Player A figures he better be the first challenger, and heads towards the hex southeast of Little Big Horn… and we move to the Final Challenge!


FINAL CHALLENGE

Before we analyze the situation, let’s look at the contestants:

Toxicor (player A) Health: 17. Mutations: It’s a robot, War Spikes (+1 damage), Iron Stomach and Fins and Gills. No infamy at all.

Tomanagi (player B) Health: 15. Mutations: Whip Tentacles. Infamy: 7

Megaclaw (player C) Health: 12. Mutations: Berserk (5 extra attacks), Laser Beam Eyes, and Atomic Recovery. Infamy: 10

Gargantis (player D) Health: 12. Mutations: Kinda Friendly, Radiation Field and High-Octane Blood. Infamy: 7

Mecha-Monster (player D) Health: 6

So what are player A’s options?

The best bet is either Mecha Monster (to add 6 health) (although he’s gotten a high defense (5)). The second best choice is Megaclaw, for he could be destroyed in three hits (remember Toxicor’s war spikes cause 4 damage instead of 3). Of course if Toxicor fails, he faces real trouble… because Megaclaw has 10 infamy and Berserk... So it depends on how lucky Toxicor feels…Tomanagi would always survive the first round and then he has 7 infamy tokens. And Gargantis, has the High Octane mutation card which allows him to hit first.
So after debating it… he decides to start with the little guy, Mecha Monster

Oh, but wait, MechaMonster has to be chosen last, by the rulebook!

So it’ll be Megaclaw. Deadly first challenge!

Toxicor rolls one die after the other. First roll is a horrible 1. The other two are 4 and 5, bringing Megaclaw down to 4 health. The only thing that could save Toxicor now is the It’s a Robot Mutation. This card makes the attacker suffer one damage for each failed roll. Maybe Megaclaw will die in the process of trying to kill Toxicor. Boy… What a fight!
First roll is a 6. A smash hit, bringing Toxicor down to 13. Second roll is a 6. Another smash hit! Toxicor down to 9 health. The next roll is 1…. Megaclaw gets injured. His health is 3 now.
Megaclaw starts using the infamy, one token at a time. The roll is a 3… One more injury for the attacker, which only has 2 health. What an agonizing battle! One more infamy spent. The roll is a 2. One less point for Megaclaw, who only has 1 health point left.
He spends one more infamy and rolls a six, bringing Toxicor down to 5 points.
One more infamy and the roll is a… 2. Bad news Megaclaw, you are dead!

The battle has left Toxicor really damaged, but he now adds the 12 health points with which Megaclaw started with and he’s back to 17 points… exactly what he “weighted” before the fight.

So who will be the next. The best bet this time is Tomanagi, hoping that something similar to what happened to Megaclaw happens again.

So the second fight is between Toxicor and Tomanagi. Toxicor rolls 5, 5 and 2, and Tomanagi is down to 7 health points. Now the big Lizzard attacks. 4, 5 and 1. Toxicor goes down to 11, and Tomanagi to 6. He starts spending infamy. First roll is a 2. More infamy, the roll is a 4. Next roll is a 3. (Tomanagi down to 4, Toxicor down to 8). Four more infamy tokens to go…. Who will survive?!?!
The following roll is a 1. Next is … a 2! Tomanagi down to 2 health points. Next roll is a 1. OMG! What a fight. Only one health point and 1 infamy for Tomanagi. The last roll is a 5, which brings Toxicor down to 5, and now it’s his turn to attack again. He rolls a 4 and kills Tomanagi right away. Unbelievable! Toxicor has once again survived thanks to the “It’s a Robot” mutation card.
Toxicor now goes up to 20 health. He’s better than at the beginning of the challenge

The third combat is finally Gargantis Vs Toxicor. Mecha Monster, scared, watches from a prudent distance this Duel of the Titans! The huge Mantis against the gigantic toxic Blob!

Due to his High Octane blood mutation, Gargantis attacks first. Rolls are 6, 5 and 1. Toxicor goes down to 13 and Gargantis to 11. Gargantis starts using the infamy. First roll: 5. Second roll: 4 (Toxicor now down to 7) Third roll: 5. Fourth roll: 1 Fifth roll: 4 (Toxicor down to only 1 point!) Sixth roll: 1 (Gargantis down to 9 health)…. Will Toxicor survive until he’s able to hit back? We’ve seen it before! Oh but wait a minute. Gargantis can discard mutations in order to gain health… He discards his three mutation cards to go back up to 10 health. It looks like Toxicor is in big trouble now!
Seventh and last infamy token roll is a …… BIG 5! Toxicor is finally defeated!!!
What an exciting final challenge! Gargantis is ready to be proclaimed champion of the monsters!

Oh but wait. There’s still a mechanic champion asking for trouble. MechaMonster faces Gargantis (now with “only” 39 health). Gargantis rolls 5, 5 and 6 and knocks the robot right away. As the champion he is, Gargantis walks away without looking at the bug he just stepped on… and gets ready to rule the Earth!


GENERAL STRATEGIC GUIDELINES

-Not all the monsters are created equal. Some are better, particularly Toxicor, Megaclaw and Gargantis.

-Not all military branches are equal either. The army is my favorite. In the sample game it did not do great, but that was because player D tried defending a big city with only two tanks, and then it took him a lot to deploy a sufficient number of units and reach the monsters. Don’t repeat those mistakes!

-Have a general strategy in mind when selecting a lair and deploying in the first turn. Are you going to go for health points, for mutations, for infamy or a bit of everything? In this game Toxicor would have probably won had he gotten some infamy tokens.

-Optimize your moves and plan a couple of turns ahead, specially with the military units. Sometimes they are better used to prevent other monsters from reaching your goal (like a big city)

-Try to gather several military units before you attack. Also, you cannot defend everything, but in this game LA, Detroit, San Diego, and a bunch of other 1d cities survived. Some key spaces can be saved if cooperative playing ensues.

-Besides big cities, the best hexes to stomp on the board are DC/Baltimore for the military base. San Diego is also great and Seattle and Denver are good too. They give health and infamy.

-Infamy is really powerful, especially if you hit first (look at the last fight: Toxicor didn’t even have a chance to attack). When trying to balance the strenghth of all the mosters, look at infamy and not only health.

-Try to stomp infamy sites that also contain a base (typically air bases) to get more infamy.

-Mutate, mutate and mutate! It’s fun to see your body change! Now seriously, there’s a race to get the best stuff: It’s a robot is a great card. War Spikes too. High octane Blood rocks. Whip tentacle is good to have too. Armor scales is best to draw at the end of the game, particularly if you are Gargantis.

- Research cards are good, but the best is getting them because of defeating monsters (that way you lower their health and also improve your own units).

-Don’t forget your special powers and cards. In this game Toxicor forgot to use Laser Fence to prevent others from stomping something in the end game (for example, that last infamy Gargantis got… That could have given him the game!)

-Forget revenge (unless you really, really, really enjoy it). Life’s too short for that. If a player nukes you, it’s ok. It’s in the spirit of the game. Don’t go for him. Go for whoever is leading now, or if you are the leader, whoever is closer.

-Timing is important right before the challenge. You should think about getting close to a challenge site when there are 5 or less stomp markers remaining (in a 4 player game).

-Being the first challenger can be bad, for you are usually not the real challenger, but think about the other choices. For example in this game

-The final challenge is a dicefest, we all know... But there are still intelligent ways to approach it. Try to start with the weakest monster or whoever you can destroy without him even touching you. Take mutations and infamy into account when calculating strength. And hey! If you lose, it’s no big deal anyway, so don’t overanalyze this game.

-Have a nice Godzilla movie playing in the background. Make monster noises from time to time. Enjoy hitting and being hit. Roll lots of dice. Roar! Attack! Stomp! Have Fun! That’s what Monster Menace America is all about.
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