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Subject: Rogzor tries to teach Zor-Maxim a lesson and .... rss

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Arden Nelson Jr.
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Rogzor tries to teach Zor-Maxim a lesson and .... fails!

Background

Today I taught one of the teens from church how to play Monsterpocalypse. There were three playing Small World. One was convinced this was an easy game given how another teen had taught him. I said, "Then you didn't really play Monpoc." I had enough to set up two 2-vs-2 games but it probably worked out best for me to focus on the rules as it was my first real game and first time to teach.

"And in this corner...!"

My opponent chose the Shadowsun Syndicate. I'm glad I had just enough that he could make a few choices over what units to bring. I showed him just enough and taught him the rules for what he was allowed to bring. I think he had to ask me at least three times which of his units were long and short range and which symbol it was. I might helped to use one of the printed out cards and point to the symbols there as the monster isn't blocking my ability to highlight by pointing. My only monster was Zor-Maxim. I decided to bring Rogzor for his bonuses to blast attacks. I thought it might be an interesting match up since I would want to keep my distance and he would want more of a face to face confrontation.

I decided to place my Oil Refinery and Radar Array on my left side where I could hopefully secure both with a minimum amount of units. He placed his monster on this side and I responded in kind by placing on that side. That was a mistake. I should have delayed our monsters "meeting" so that I could get more units on the board and take advantage of high impact.

Solo brawling here we come!

My Explodohawk was able to move in and successfully solo his monster for one damage. Sure, I wasn't able to bring as many units on the board but I figured I might be able to tempt him into taking out the Explodohawk with his monster. He didn't take the bait.

Unit screening for the win and forgetting for the loss

I wisely tried to used the buildings to keep me away from his monster while I also moved into my blast range. Unfortunately, I hadn't set up my units to screen for me and thus I was vulnerable.

Question: Does Zor-Maxim's jump abilitiy let him jump over buildings?

We ruled that he was able to as we considered the building a figure. I don't know if that is correct or not. This was definitely a learning game. I decided that only 3 of the buildings would use their abilities for this game since there were so many things to learn. Radar Array, Oil Refinery, and Sky Scrapper used their abilities but the others were targets for body slams and brawl attacks only.

Ouch! That hurt!

By failing to screen my monster I certainly paid the price. The unit that could have screened for me was crushed as Zorog was slammed into that unit as well as a building which burst into flames. It certainly was a game changing mistake. I answered in kind but did less damage and didn't crush any of his units.

When can we play again?

By this time the Small World game had finished and I was teaching the other three teens as we finished our last game for the evening. My opponent was asking the right kind of questions and I would teach the related rules as we went.

I ended up loaning all that we were using so that he can play the game with his Dad. Additionally, I told him to figure out all of the rules that I either got wrong or didn't teach him yet for the sake of simplicity.

"I wanna play! I wanna play!"

What about the teen that thought Monpoc was overly simple and uninteresting? Well he made his wishes known that he wanted to play as well. It was time to go so I'll have to teach others at another time.

I'm now more driven to make sure I know the rules correctly. I think I will stick with those two factions for now since there is so much to learn as it is. I'm also looking forward learning the monsters, units, and building abilities.
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Alex Martinez
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Good report.

And yes, jumping allows you to move over buildings. (Everything in the game is considered "a figure", just to make that clear.) The only real difference between Jumping and Flying is that a jumping figure lands at the end of its movement, while a Flying figure is still considered airborne. This usually only matters on those rare occasions when you have a figure end its move on a hazard. Flying figures can do so safely while jumping figures have to take the hit.

Monsterpocalypse is a complex game, all right. Glad to hear you enjoyed it.
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Andrew Brannan
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Rogzor's a tricky one to play well, particularly against Syndicate. Screening with units is crucial, as Syndicate's Jump ability allows them to ignore intervening units and buildings. Plus, the high defense on their monsters means you've got to commit a fair number of units to any unit attack. Shadow Gates and their Red cloak ability can make shooting a pain altogether. All in all, Rogzor loses out in just about every area compared to a Syndicate force.
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Jason Cookingham
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Cool session. Thanks for sharing. Good luck on making them all converts!

I just convinced my gf to give it a try. Here is hoping.
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Alex Martinez
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abrannan wrote:
Rogzor's a tricky one to play well, particularly against Syndicate. All in all, Rogzor loses out in just about every area compared to a Syndicate force.


I'm not sure I agree with this assessment. Rogzor excels at ranged attacks. And he boosts the blast attacks of all his Planet Eater units. An army led by Rogzor doesn't need to get close to their targets to pulverize them. His explosion trigger can blow holes in groups of enemy units (or forcing them to spread out, making screening more difficult) and his beatback ability can really devastate an enemy monster.

I think the Monsterpocalypse factions all play well if you play to their strengths. For Rogzor, screening is difficult, since he doesn't really care about getting close to his opponent.
 
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Andrew Brannan
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KingCroc wrote:
abrannan wrote:
Rogzor's a tricky one to play well, particularly against Syndicate. All in all, Rogzor loses out in just about every area compared to a Syndicate force.


I'm not sure I agree with this assessment. Rogzor excels at ranged attacks. And he boosts the blast attacks of all his Planet Eater units. An army led by Rogzor doesn't need to get close to their targets to pulverize them. His explosion trigger can blow holes in groups of enemy units (or forcing them to spread out, making screening more difficult) and his beatback ability can really devastate an enemy monster.

I think the Monsterpocalypse factions all play well if you play to their strengths. For Rogzor, screening is difficult, since he doesn't really care about getting close to his opponent.


Those are indeed all of Rogzor's strengths. However, a range 7 blast attack, even with beat back, is not an insurmountable distance for a monster with jump (as the syndicate monsters are), particularly if they're speed 7 (as the syndicate monsters are). Once the distance is closed with Rogzor, it's difficult for Rogzor to re-achieve separation. He doesn't have climb, jump or flight, so enemy units and buildings get in the way. Syndicate monsters are generally DEF 7, which can be tough to guarantee a shot through with a power attack.

Add in to the equation the cloak ability (red) of the Shadow gates, and you can completely nullify attack opportunities from Rogzor altogether whiel you close distance.

I'm not saying Rozor is a bad monster. Far from it. He's one of my favorites to play, and he has a ton of great abilities. What I am saying is that the matchup of Rogzor vs. Syndicate is not favorable for Rogzor. Syndicate plays well against "shooty" armies, with their cloak and maneuverability. Rogzor does better against slower brawlers, like Terrasaurs, and Cthul, or against flying armies, like the Martians.
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Alex Martinez
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If he's your favorite, I'm assuming you've played him a lot and I'll bow to your superior expertise. And it is true that movement is the Shadowsun's biggest strength.

My favorite monster is prob Pteradax at this stage. Although I'm a big fan of any of the heavy destruction (in comparison) monsters like Armodax and Gorghadra.
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Arden Nelson Jr.
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At least two or three players in the group are interested in playing Syndicate. The only monster I have is Zor-Maxim. What would be a fair fight for him as it seems that Rogzor would have a difficult time against him. I was thinking that Defender X against Zor-Maxim might be a good fight. Another option is Yasheth.

Thanks for all the excellent commentary. I hope to start an informal group of players among my friends and family this summer.
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Andrew Brannan
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Defender X is a great all-around monster. Not overly strong in any one area, but no glaring weaknesses, either. He's good for early players, since you really can't play him "wrong". GUARD is also really good at gaining power dice (especially with bank HQ, and Insurance Buildings), so they're a bit more forgiving. GUARD units also have a nice high DEF, and can make for a pretty stalwart defense.

Yasheth I haven't really figured out how to play well. He's got good available healing, with Vampirism and leach, and Meat Slaves. Vampirism is a brawl trigger, though, so you've got to either plan for a power attack counterattack from your opponent, or screen well to prevent anything other than a return brawl or blast.
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Alex Martinez
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With Yasheth, I find aggression is the key. Since successful brawl attacks from both Yasheth and his forces against the monster can regain his life, and Meat Slaves add another life gaining power. For Yasheth, don't be afraid to focus on the enemy monster almost entirely. He's not there for the appetizers. He's there for the main course.

Also, keep an eye on your opponent's action dice pool. Multiple activations with Yasheth can really turn the tide quickly. I find that if I can get several back to back activations with Yasheth that victory is usually assured. But it's all about monitoring your opponent's dice pools.
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Jason Cookingham
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KingCroc wrote:
With Yasheth, I find aggression is the key.


My key to success for him is to be very defensive. I do my best to get the opponent on my side of the board, while Yas cleans up the buildings to build up his pool.

The biggest reason why is the leach ability-- if the units get wiped out, then it takes one round to get them back into play and healing Yas.

With the buildings gone, you don't have to worry about Yas taking too much damage. You can save the pool for throwing any fleeing monster back into your spawn pit.
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