Genre: miniature, collectable
Number of players: 2
Objective: to destroy your opponent’s monster(s) in both forms

A little confession: I love monster movies.  Even when they are dumb with cheesy special effects and story lines used to induce vomiting to prevent choking, they are still awesome for me to watch.  Why?  Honestly, its cause I enjoy the rampage and wanton destruction.  Yeah, I admit to enjoy violent media; I don’t act on it, just watch it.  Other than that, I do enjoy the creative designs for the monsters; the actual execution of said giant critters is another thing.
Another, bigger confession: I love Privateer Press.  This company enjoys taking risks with their games and succeed at making their games bigger and badder than many other games.  Also, they design their games with the intention of giving the active/aggressive player the advantage.  This goes against other games where being passive/defensive is a more optimal strategy.  With Privateer, it encourages you to actually play the game and not just sit back and wait out your opponents.

With those two admittances in mind, let’s get into Monsterpocalypse!
After the success of their two major miniature lines (WARMACHINE and HORDES), Privateer decided to try something new; in their own words: The Next Big Thing.  And that was Monsterpocalypse, a collectible miniature game based around kaiju, or monster movie genre.  Currently, there are 4 released sets, one soon to be released, and 12 different factions to play, each representing one of six agendas (think alignment from DnD); and each is guaranteed to hearken to either a classic monster movie or to other famous monsters from popular culture or anime.

Each player controls at least one monster, a number of units, and fields a number of buildings on a battle map; each of which is a different model type.  Models are moved on the battle map by spending Action dice (A-dice); naturally, buildings don’t move . . . yet.  A-dice can also be used to initiate attacks and perform actions.  When A-dice are spent they go from one pool (starting in the Unit) to the other (the Monster Dice Pool); this means that players typically will alternate activating units and monsters between turns.  Units function as a means to gather Power dice (P-dice) which the monster can use to bolster their attacks, make a special type of attack (Power Attack) that is limited to monsters only, or allow a monster to transform into a more powerful form: their Hyper Form.  Units gather P-dice by securing buildings or strategic points on the map.  Game play continues until a monster is destroyed in both forms (Alpha a.k.a. starting form, and Hyper).  When building a force, units can be of any faction, but many units’ abilities function best when they are the same faction/agenda as their monster.  Oh, don’t worry about losing units during the course of the game; you can respawn them at spawn points on the map.  You have an infinite supply of the units at your disposal, but limited to the actual number of models you have . . . hopefully that made sense.

One obvious bit of education from the game is learning about pop culture, anime, and the kaiju movie genre.  As with most miniature games, you learn resource management via your units, except that you don’t have to worry about not being able to use those units once they die; you can respawn them.  Also, you learn to strategize via the way you construct your force; mostly utilizing the synergy between units and monsters or other units or between the buildings and the units/monsters in your force.  Also, you learn to coordinate your efforts between your units and your monster.  Finally, you need to get use to the symbols used to depict special abilities that models possess; some are logical, others intuitive, and others you just need to get use to.

Next time: Morton’s List-The End to Boredom