Along with the letter, Privateer Press also sent over some boxes of limited edition minis from the game. Between seeing how pretty those were, and observing how everyone in the store was way enjoying Monsterpocalypse, it was more than enough to entice me to give it a try. And that's how it all started...
So now five months and several booster box purchases later (in addition to scouring eBay for a few hard-to-find minis) I must confess: I am officially a Monsterpocalypse junkie.
Awright well, what exactly is Monsterpocalypse and why am I feeling obligated to sing its praises here? It's a game based around the "giant monsters" genre... and it's a heck of a lot of fun!!
Gameplay revolves greatly around how you use your dice. You've got ten "action dice", ten "power dice" and you can use any number of "boost dice" depending on what figure you're using and other factors. If you want to "spawn" a unit - which are classified as either grunts or elites - onto the board you have to spend a die (and it'll cost ya two dice for an elite). Want to move a unit? It'll cost ya one die. Attack with it? That'll cost ya a die as well. But "spending" means moving the dice from your unit pool to your monster pool... which will let you wreck even more carnage with your big monster. So there's not only a lot of strategic thinkin' that Monsterpocalypse calls for, but also a good sense of economics and wisely using your resources. If all that sounds too complex, don't worry: it's not. Games are usually very fast paced and most last under an hour. Hey, this is about ginormous monstrosities unleashing death and destruction, not... chess!
The object of the game is to destroy your opponent's monster. Which ain't as simple as it sounds. Ya see, you and the other player actually have two figures representing each of your respective monsters! The primary is the "alpha" form, which is what that monster looks like in its natural state. But accumulate enough power dice (earned by destroying units and brawling building into rubble) and you can switch your monster from its alpha to its "hyper" form: a bit more powerful and often with even cooler abilities than the alpha. Your goal in Monsterpocalypse is to inflict enough damage that both of the other player's monster forms have zero on their health trackers.
Monsterpocalypse came out a year ago and it's become a huge success for Privateer Press. When the game first came out it introduced its first six factions: G.U.A.R.D. (sorta like G.I. Joe or S.H.I.E.L.D. from the Marvel comics), Martian Menace (from the red planet), Lords of Cthul (my personal favorite faction, take a guess why), Terrasaurs (think Godzilla's kinfolk hooking up with radical environmentalist terrorist wackos), Planet Eaters (also a favorite) and Shadow Sun Syndicate (sorta like the Power Rangers on steroids). Last month Series 4 of the game, Monsterpocalypse Now! was released and rolled out six new factions: Elemental Champions, Tritons (a threat from the ocean), Savage Swarm (Them!? You'll wish it was just them), Subterran Uprising (molemen... really big molemen), UberCorp International (run by a thinly-veiled parody of Howard Hughes) and a group that's fast running up players' lists of most-liked factions, the Empire of the Apes (see the gun that Kong-sized gorilla is wielding? That's really a salvaged howitzer).
So, all of this sound like oodles of fun? It most certainly is! Nothing feels quite like building up a town only to thrash it to pieces with exotic weaponry and kaiju critters. And you can find Monsterpocalypse at most of your friendly local game stores. A lot of those usually have a dedicated group of players that meet regularly. I've started playing at HyperMind in Burlington on Thursday nights, and we've a good bunch that congregates there (including one particular 11-year old who handed my butt to me with his Subterrans last night despite my use of G.U.A.R.D.'s heavy air support... but he won the Mega Mantacon figure and is happy, so it's all fine :-).
One of my favorite online resources for all things Monsterpocalyse is Team Covenant and if you're looking for any particular figures, Team Covenant's online store is well worth visiting! They not only carry the starter box sets and boosters but also special bundles and some very good custom Monsterpocalypse dice that if you start getting heavy into this game you might wanna consider getting, 'cuz the blast markings on the regular dice have a tendency to "wear off" after several games. And 'course there's also eBay, that good ol' standby (and maybe your last, best hope of scoring a Mega Yasheth figure... hey, I am big into the Lords of Cthul, y'all ;-) And it goes without saying that the official Monsterpocalypse website is a must-see if you're thinking of getting into this game. Privateer Press just overhauled the site and among other things there's a gallery featuring every mini the game has to date, including stats. There's also a lively message board for players to discuss various aspects of the game.
Monsterpocalypse gets this blog's highest recommendation for entertainment worth checking out. There's a little something for players of all ages to enjoy... and they certainly do. And if you're in this part of North Carolina, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let's see if we can hook up and play a round some evening :-)