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Subject: Ninja Tourney with no Ninja? rss

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Bobb Beauchamp
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Volo
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At least not any that I faced.

This was my first tournament. In fact, this was my first time playing, as with 3 kids under the age of 4 at home, we've not had much time in the past few years for me to get away for several hours at a time that didn't involve me pulling in a paycheck. But with the kids nicely recovered from the stomach flu they'd had the day before, I was able to get lunch and get out of the house just in time to make the venue.

This was announced as a TWO MONSTER EVENT. Not being very familiar with the way PP sets up their events, I thought this meant the prize was to be for two monsters. The description of the event only mentioned one monster pair in the force selection, which is what I'd been planning on. So with my Terra Khan safely at home...after all, he's too fragile for most real competitive play...I sat waiting with Pteradax and a slew of Terrasaurs. Until the PGer mentioned that he needed our TWO monster names on the registration forms.

For just a moment, I thought "why does he need both monster names? The rules said no megas..." So I quickly asked to confirm that TWO MONSTER meant not only prizes, but forces. Luckily, another player (thanks Greg) loaned me my choice of monsters, so Terra Khan joined the group anyway.

My force: Pteradax/Ultra, Terra Khan/Ultra, 2 Spikodons, 1 Brontox 2 Bellowers (1 Elite), 2 Carnidons, 2 Pteradactix (1 elite), 4 Raptix (1 elite), 1 Saucer, and 1 Power Pod. For buildings, I had every one I own: 2 Office Buildings, 1 Apartment, 1 Skyscraper, 1 TV Network, 1 Downtown High Rise, 1 Oil Refinery, 2 Nuclear Plants, 1 Bank HQ, 1 Insurance HQ, and the Crystalline Building.

My first match...and game, ever...was against Anthony, running Sky Sentinal and Laser Kinght, with what seemed like an endless supply of G1 Strike Fighters, on the Boardwalk. Thinking Pteradax would be better able to maneuver amongst the buildings, I set Terra Khan to emerge from the bay. Leaving the weaker defense, lower health Terra Khan out in the open was a pretty big mistake. While Pteradax and my army of T-Saurs kept the GUARD units at bay, poor Terra Khan ended up being a big lizard punching bag for the GUARD mechs. I did finish off Laser Knights alpha form, and had Terra Khan set up to blody slam the robot into position where Pteradax could swoop over and throw him to finish him off once and for all, but I forgot that TK's surviving Ultra form also came with ultra-low defense, and he went down to a hail of Strike Fighter missiles. I retreated Pteradax to try and think my plans, while Laser Knight scheduled some irregular maintenance and repair, and time was called. I lost that one pretty decisively, although I did good job of taking out units and had a ready supply of power dice every turn. My one attempt to take a double monster activation failed when I rolled two blanks on a power up. My best move was rampaging Pteradax through the GUARD power base that included the statue of liberty and a handful of units. But Laser Knights Amplify meant that didn't hurt the GUARD mechs abilities that much.

My second match was against Greg, who's Terra Khan I was borrowing. I told him TK had folded like a paper tiger in the first round, but hoped this one went better. Greg was playing Cthul, with Morgoth and Ulgoth leading the way. I think we were on Boulevard of Broken Dreams...I should have avoided the water, but with only 2 Carnidons and one Brontox, with two Pterdactix, I thought I could overcome.

This game went very differently. I don't care to ever play Cthul, but I respect the game they bring. Against the Strike Fighters, I had unit targets within reach every turn. The Cthul targets were few, far between, and hard to hit. As in the first game, I made securing the oil refinery my priority, but I was unable to get my saucer into position to drop the power pod, and I couldn't secure the Power Plant. I was often hurting for power dice. Still, I was able to pull of a big Smash against Morgoth early, swooping Pteradax deep into the Cthul lines. Morgoth went through a Nuclear Plant and into a High Rise, which promptly burst into flames. Greg quickly got a Squix in place to shield Morgoth, but with my Spikodons, I had a good chance of finishing him off anyway. I did take out the Squix, but rolled just one short of hitting the monster, and Morgoth managed to power up and retreat behind some Spitters.

Meanwhile, Ulgoth was having a hard time fighting his way through the buildings to get to Terra Khan. When they did eventually meet, a round-robin of body slams began, with Terra Khan getting off the opening shot for a decent hit. This time, the Bellowers and Spikodons managed to get the final hit on Ulgoth, although the follow-up body slam on Terra Khan returned the favor on the next turn. With time coming to a close, I ended up losing this one by 1 point.

While I didn't win, I didn't really expect to. I did learn an awful lot, and know I made some mistakes. Letting Terra Khan sit out in the open, away from any units he could snack on or buildings to eat to heal, was a mistake. I was doing very well in that first game, keeping the GUARD units off the map while holding my own power base, and there wasn't much in the way of buildings left standing on the GUARD side of the map.

For the second game, I had a death blossom that I should have left one foundation free. Instead my Saucer spent the first several unit turns sitting in the middle of 4 buildings, helping secure them, but that Power Pod wasn't doing anything for me sitting inside the Saucer. I also wasn't aggressive enough with my ranged units, which could have taken out the Cthul Spitter squad. And I didn't really have a good plan for dealing with Morgoth's Volatile ability.

Thanks to all, and I hope I'm able to get out to another one. This one almost didn't happen, but for the quick recovery of the kids.
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John "Omega" Williams
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An interesting session report for the two battles. Learning how best to deploy the various monster types, especially the more tricky units like Terra Khan is part of the fun of the game. And you never know when you might hit on some approach no one is expecting.
 
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Bobb Beauchamp
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Omega2064 wrote:
An interesting session report for the two battles. Learning how best to deploy the various monster types, especially the more tricky units like Terra Khan is part of the fun of the game. And you never know when you might hit on some approach no one is expecting.


My strategy both games made securing the oil refinery a priority. While this helped, it wasn't necessary on turn 1. I think I'll use my building placement better in the future as well, aiming to secure the apartment building on turn 1, then trying to get the oil refinery and power plant on turn two. Also, while the Saucer/Power Pod addition worked in the first game, it was costly on that first turn. For the same cost (2A to spawn the Saucer, 1A to move it, and 1A to drop the pod), I could have spawned my Brontox (2A), moved it to a power point within reach (1A), and used Nesting to bring an elite or Spikodon into play. Sure, I'd not have gotten the extra P die during power ups, but I'd have my Brontox out and able to bring me expensive elites out faster than I was otherwise able.
 
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Andrew Brannan
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Two monster games are an entirely different beast than single monster battles. Your units get twice the action dice (relative to each monster), so they become much more of the focus of the game. Picking monsters that have complimentary abilities to the unit selection is key. Ganging up and focusing on only one of your opponent's monsters at a time is also key. Being down one monster is a huge obstacle to overcome.
 
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