I dusted off my Monpoc last night, and I decided to turn back the clock and play "classic" Series 1 Monpoc. I literally pulled the lists from the Monpoc Series 1 Strategy Guide.
We're talking Ultra Defender X v. Ultra Deimos-9.
We're talking G-Tanks and Rocket Choppers vs. Vanguards and Saucers.
The result was GREAT.
Defender X establishes a strong power base, but then misses two consecutive power-up rolls, and so winds up going against theme to brawl a nuclear power plant.
Deimos-9 plays aggressively, sending a wing of Vanguards to deny a G-Tank's access to a neutral spawn point, harvesting some power dice in the process. Deimos also brawls a Nuclear Power Plant, and then risks a rampage right through Defender X's power base, harvesting a ton of power dice, but ending his turn squarely in the middle of Defender X's side of the board.
Defender X powers up and fires off a beat-back black to deal 2 points of damage to Deimos-9's alpha form. Deimos shifts to his ultra form, and starts hammering Defender X with back-to-back lighting attack brawls, which siphons away Defender X's power dice pool.
Defender X shifts back down to alpha to protect his ultra form, and tries to retreat to give himself time to repair, but there's nowhere to go--Deimos is in his backyard, and is dealing twice as much damage as he's taking.
Units exchange fire, mostly destroying each other but occasionally pinging the opponent's monster. But because all the action is taking place on Defender X's side of the field, the Protectors can't disrupt Deimos control of the Radar Array, which extend his Vanguard's attacks.
Deimos-9 shifts down to a weakened Alpha form moments before Defender X throws him into a nuclear power plant--which is tragic for Defender X, because Deimos is immune to the radiation hazard, but it's enough to kill the alpha form.
Deimos now has a critical decision. Defender X is barely hanging on, with less than 3 points of total health across both forms, but Deimos is down to 3 health in his ultra form.
Deimos can either press the attack, knowing that in the building-less wasteland of Defender X's side of the map, it will be very difficult for him to land a 2-damage attack. But considering Defender X has easy access to his repair vehicle, Deimos will need to effectively deal 5 points of damage before Defender X can deal 3.
Alternatively, Deimos can retreat, seeking to smash the remaining Nuclear Power Plant to heal a point of damage, and forcing Defender X to cross the map to finish the job. But that will also give Defender X the tie he needs to heal both forms, which will likely swing the advantage to the giant robot.
What does Deimos do?
The Deimos Decision
It was getting late, and I was playing Monsterpocalypse with myself. So I decided the Martian would choose the lesser part of valor, and just go tripod berserk on the robot.
Deimos managed two back-to-back activations, pushing his luck to kill off Defender X's alpha and bring the ultra down to 1 remaining heatlh. But in the process, he took damage from G-Tanks and robot punches.
Both monsters were down to 1 point of health. It was the Martian's turn, but his monster pool was empty, while his opponent's monster pool was brimming with enough dice to deliver the killing blow.
Still, with a nearby Bank Headquarters secured, the martian Vanguard's managed to string together a 3-action dice / 8-boost die attack. A little light to try to hit Defender X's beefy 7 armor, but it was their only chance.
And they rolled exactly 7 hits!
The giant robot went down in a hail of green plasma!
All hail our Martian overlords!
I had wondered what it would be like to go back to playing a faction-pure Series 1-only game, since I came into Monsterpocalypse after Series 5 had come out and everyone was fielding Tornadus-splashed, Insurance-Scam, Robo-beaconing lists.
It was a total delight.
The lack of all the high-powered units gave the game a simpler, economical feel. Deimos was able to get so aggressive and cross the board because he didn't have to fear an automatic unit ping from G1's every turn. He rampaged AND stomped--moves that I rarely saw in "advanced" matches--and it was completely effective. He managed to trade a couple points of health in order to wipe the buildings from his opponent's side of the map, and create an environment where he could steadily deal more damage than he took.
Basically, it felt like the "bones" of Monpoc came to life.
I'm looking forward to my next match, which will likely be a Defender X v. Cthugrosh matchup.
Love faction only. Was never a fan of splashes. Theme felt off with different units. My two factions I mainly ran were MartianS and Cthul.
About 6 months after the final series (5) was released, we had a series 1 themed event at our local organized play store. We had similarly delightful results.
Excellent classic match-up, Nate. Well done.
I do love me a bit of Faction-only. The problem is, of course, the power of other units. It feels like every agenda needs to have a unit with towing, and that there are some abilities that make units instant-includes. Tornadus is valued because it has such a long range to its attacks and has no competition for that position. The Insurance Building is too good to be true, but it is nullified by the Stock Exchange, and both are tricky to get. As for Robo-beaconing? I don't think I've ever seen that, as I use Radio Telescopes in my cities and as part of my power base. That way, I can use beacon on both monster and unit turns. (I play Subterran Uprising primarily, and there are very few buildings that favor them)
Given that you were late to the party, so to speak, you never had to deal with Old-School Ignite. The way the action was worded originally meant that monsters standing on rubble would take a point of damage the moment a unit lit the place up. This meant every single list had a fire kami on it, as that was the easiest source of ignite. It was nerfed afterwards, but people still remember the terror of Ignite.
If you can play with other people, I highly recommend it. I know I've gotten opportunities to play it recently. So much that I'm actually play testing home-made factions!