29 July 2010

Alternating Universes

So one of the common questions about the Voltron set is whether or not you can cross the two games over. Voltron is a stand alone set, but yes: you can bring Voltron into Monsterpocalypse, but not the other way around.

Why? Well imagine a Carnidon being deployed in space.

Okay, I may be getting a little silly there. How about something that makes more sense, like Sky Sentinel and G-1 strike fighters. It makes much more sense, however I believe it would unbalance the match by having the Speed 8 Strike fighters careen across the field towards the enemy who are at a disadvantage since the G-1's will be under the effect of Wing Leader.

But you get them onto the Monsterpocalypse fields and you have the same mix up unless you mix up your forces. They need to mix up forces and...
Sidenote: I'm sitting at harrys diner and I've seen- now 5- caravans/Winnebago’s go down Newmarket road. I'm not sure what to think.
The Voltron gear needs to mix up their forces so that they have something without flight. Securing zones on a map is always nifty,and sometimes important, and the Galaxy Garrison Cruisers and Skull Ships are unable to do that themselves.

Well fair enough. The Subterran Uprising make a good mix with Lo-tron. I remember the first few episodes of Voltron and the first Robeasts came out. One of them had drill bits for nipples. So perfect match!

Mixing with the Lords of Cthul however offers a situation that I haven't explored before today: Multi-Morpher-Monster games. Mathematically, 10 action die between 8 figures is ridiculous. It would be more if one of the Pentamorphers didn't have Quick. Then there's the shenanigans. Monsterpocalypse Morphers have more skills and triggers, and actions that can disable or disrupt things quite nastily. And then there's the red abilities that they share! Players with a Voltron set are not only behind on tracking tools, but are behind on rules!
For all those Voltron players: A red ability means you can 'share' it to an adjacent figure of the same Agenda. It gives them that ability to use where appropriate, but they only have the ability while adjacent to the figure sharing it.
Other colours for abilities are Blue and Green. Blue is given to all figures of the same agenda to the figure with the blue ability. Green is a building speciality and are given to all figures in your force so long as your figures are securing the building.
So what does a sensible player do? They use less figures. He plays with four of his more preferred morpher figures and run with them. Maybe even add the guy with Quick. Shenanigans can still run rampant with Hypering up and dropping form, and you can get some wicked combos in like the Green Tentacle (I forget its name) with the Rhino Robeast doing a combination of Beatback and Toss. That can mess something up if done right, such as Beatback into a friendly figure then toss into a nearby building that has spire or a hazard. With the way I've played Morphers, building devastation doesn't really happen until I or they Hyper Up.

So to get the best kick out of Voltron or Lo-tron being on the field of a Monsterpocalypse battle, definitely get a handful of Monsterpocalypse figures. And if you have them of the same agenda, even better! They're cheap as chips and just as tasty.

Now all the Voltron-set players have to do is grab a few buildings! Our local group is very lenient and we have buildings to spare. And you only need two to play, so get a box set!

Tuesday: Hiatus

28 July 2010

Re: Bombardiers

Okay, so after playing Starcraft II for a little bit, I noticed something on one of the Characters "Tychus Findlay". He's usually wearing Marine Power armour, and he has a lady in a bikini holding a gun and sitting in a Spade. And I remembered some of the coolest marines get some cool tattoos or markings on their gear.

What's some cool things I could get for my Man-O-War? I was thinking of the different sets of Royal Flushes, but I have 25 figures I want to do it to so if anyone can think of a last set of five, that would be cool. I'll be doing it After Gencon.

I was also thinking of individual ones for the Bombardier Guns/saws, but that'll be going too far.

“Hell it's about time”

I started off Monday afternoon by having a nap when I got home from work. I had spent the night before talking to jenny until 2am, getting more and more excited about the trip to the US. Seriously, the excitement is so thick that you need a giant boring machine to punch holes in it for us to breathe. After a little while, Mel came in to offer some Cous Cous which I nibbled on for a little bit before going back to sleep until about 7:30 when Jen woke up.

We began messaging and didn't stop until about 2am again when I got home after being at the Starcraft Midnight Launch Party at King George Square. It was kinda cool. I believe they mentioned about 2,000 people turned up by the midnight release. That's a bit better of a turnout I was expecting.

Scotty and I had gathered to the event as we ordered our Limited Edition Box sets. Scotty has a collection of Collectors Edition Video games, and I just like Starcraft. And the collectors box is pretty cool. An Art book; a Behind the Scenes DVD; a digital remastering of the Starcraft Cinematics (these were originally done in 1997/98 by the way); a Starcraft II Soundtrack; and a USB device with Starcraft and Brood War expansion installed, and diecast to match Jim Raynors Dog tags.

The diecast metal somewhat threw me off. I don't hear much of diecast except for that old Optimus Prime that I had as a kid. I'd lost his fists which you hide in the cab while he's a truck, but you put them where the headlights are so he's a robot holding his gun.

There were some cool things happening, such as EB Staff going around offering free copies of Game Informer magazine and potato chips for free, and the cosplayers were pretty cool. The best ones were Kerrigan, a pair of Firebats, an Ultralisk and, the coolest one of the night, a Pylon.

Now the hosts weren't too bad. There have been better hosts around, but for guys who don't do this sort of thing very often, they did pretty well. At least I assume they don't do it often. There were prizes for best cosplay (of course, the Pylon won); there was a sound-off competition, where a group of people imitated units from the original Starcraft (the most used one was the Battle Cruiser dude, but the best two were the guy who did the Zergling and the guy who did the Ghost); a buzzer competition which one guy was on each question like syrup on pancakes; and a Q&A for our special guest.

So call me rude, but I didn't really know him or care about him. I didn't catch his name, but I was told he was a lead designer for Starcraft II and he was there to answer a few questions that just needed to be asked by the Brisbanian Starcraft fans.

I can't remember what they were. Honestly I wasn't really paying attention. I was sitting on the steps (new steps since KGS has been redesigned, a little to my displeasure as there's less foliage than there was before) and ahead of me was a full moon shining out from underneath a girls unfortunately small undies. Then she bent over and I saw my life flash before my eyes before Scotty pulled me out of a terrified trance.

Okay, I exaggerate, but it wasn't pretty.

Around 11:30, everyone was lining up outside the EB Games stalls and wait to grab their copies of Starcraft II. A bunch of guys a few bodies behind us started up a joke about getting it early and began a countdown from 10. Sure sure, that's funny. Get in early and we'll get the game, Ha and a ha. Then they did it again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And then the actual countdown came and that was fine, though their voices were leaving a ringing in my ear now. Then the line up began shuffling and they did it two more times before they finally figured the joke was over.

Yeah, it was over the third time you did it ya wankers.

Scotty and I taxied it home and I got home and immediately started installing it. It was kinda sad installing it, because my desktop hasn't been used in... well a few months since I got my Netbook, and the DVD drive hasn't been used in just as long. So for the next couple of hours, I could hear my poor DVD drive revving away like it was competing in the Drag Races. Thankfully I don't need the drive to play it again, it just plays by itself.

But eventually, at 2am, I got to sleep while it was installing louder than a mariachi band, and turned it off in the morning. Last night I got about 2 missions done, and they were interesting. They weren't super freakin awesome, but they were definitely much like the Original Starcraft. Only Prettier. MUUUCH prettier.

26 July 2010


Like a Parody of a James Bond Film, we new have a Robot covered in Gold. Granted he's not as sexy as Jill Masterson, but that really depends on your perspective. Now that we're done fantasising, lets get to the topic: Mega Voltron.

As with Lo-tron, Voltron was a robot of many forms of Super Damage. He had Weapon Master on his Brawl and Super Smash, a potentially extremely dangerous attack with the only penalty of the prerequisites for Smash. In the year of playing Monsterpocalypse, there hasn't been many times I've seen a figure get Smashed. To boot, when Voltron made a Power Attack, he shifts a unit into a new position.

Mega Voltron tones down a little, as he doesn't have a definite form of Super Damage but he has more options for Super Damage. To start, we have his brawl attack. Rather than Weapon Master, a flat Super damage, he has Lightning Attack.
Lightning Attack: Once each turn, this monster can roll a second attack of the same type with dice in play against the same target monster.
So two attacks in quick succession against the target, using his Brawl Attack of 7*3. This has been known to get rather dangerous. Slugbutt (AKA: Grindix-Birvikaan) has Lightning Attack along with Synchronised Move. With the Red ability "Overload" from the Lords of Cthul Corruptor, he could get two attacks with Super Damage on the target.
Note: I will have to check up on this because I believe there is something somewhere about Super Damage only being applied to an attack once.
I'm not sure what Red abilities Guard and the Elemental Protectors have but with a little planning ahead they could pull off some really powerful combos, just like other factions. I'll have to consult Scott about it. He might even have some tips about Flak!

Ow! Stop it Scott.

His other form of Super Damage is exactly where one would expect: The Power attacks. His previous Incarnation was limited to Super damage on his Smash Attacks, quite difficult to pull off in our gaming group here in Brisbane. Mega Voltron however is much more... generous to his Power Attacks.
Crunch: If this monster’s attack rolled 1 or more super strikes, it does super damage.
Any Power Attack, performed with his 7*4 stat, has the potential to deal super damage. Smash, Body Slam, Throw... even the very unappreciated Headbutt. So long as there's a Super Strike rolled. Now rolling his maximum action dice of 7, adding his 4 boost die and the minimum of 1 Power die, he rolls 12 dice with a reasonable chance of rolling 1 Super Strike.

But lastly there's his third trigger. Rather than go with the traditional Power or Brawl Attack, Mega Voltron has done something similar to Mega Lo-tron has and added something to his Blast Attack. Raising his Blast stat to 8*3, while still at short range, gives some thought to the ability of his Lion Head Attack.
Multi-Shot: Choose up to 2 other enemy units in the blast attack range of this figure. Those with a DEF equal to or less than the number of strikes rolled take 1 damage.
Now I've known Multi-Shot to be an annoying ability as it allows the attacker to disrupt more than just the target. With Mega Voltron's Short range, it won't exactly bring empires to ruin, however it will do enough damage to someone's power base to make them think twice before moving there and potentially suffering a hit.

But that's Mega Voltron for you, an all round gold guy with a jack in all trades.

Friday: Alternating Universes!

24 July 2010

It's the final countdown!

I have a week and a half before I make the pilgrimage to the holy land of gaming.

And you know what's starting to annoy me? Everyone reminding me. Every day, I get “So are you excited that you're going to the US?” Yes. I'm excited. Stop reminding me so that I don't jump on the spot and get distracted from work!

Ugh. The people I see every day.

I am very excited. For the first few days, I get to see lots of people I've talked to over the internet. The internet's safe, right? Nobody wants to skin me and then return to Brisbane in my visage? I wouldn't. I'm suspicious enough as it is. I get pulled aside for a “Random Person Search” every friggin time. Melbourne? Yep. I was wearing a Straw hat if I remember correctly. Canberra? I was wearing a beanie. This time I'm not going to wear a hat. The only suspicious thing is that near the back corners of my head, the hair sticks up. No reason. It's like bed hair only it's all freakin' day, every day.

So I'll get pulled over for a bit by US Customs and get inspected for my gear and questioned on my ESTA and, whoever forbid, I get an oral examination (I can hear the latex snapping already) and then I toddle on my way to Indianapolis for Gencon, where we hook up a night at the hotel and I try to adjust my body clock (because Aaron doesn't believe in it and Scott doesn't understand the ability of HAVING one).

There's only a little bit of Ninja shopping I have to do so far. Kel wants a copy of “Least I Could Do: Beginnings” signed by Lars De Souza and Ryan Sohmer; Humph want a Tshirt which is Gencon/PP related, so I'll hopefully get a PP Ram Tshirt; and then there's bits and bobs that I have to grab from Jenny.

Funny enough Jen has asked for a little bit of Ninja Shopping as well, but it's to get an Australian edition of After America. That's all and that's hardly a problem.

While I'm at the convention? First thing I have to do is go to the Privateer Press Booth and report in (AFAIK) and say “Hi” to lots of people and pick up my Press Ganger shirt, and possibly buy Pigs for next years Hordes Army. Oh and Books. Books are nice.

Speaking of Armys, the Man-o-War list is coming along swimmingly. I've got to re-glue a few weapons and finish off the paint on the last unit of Shocktroopers, and finish converting the Bombardiers before I'm done with the tonne of Man-O-War figures. May even get the Behemoth done too, but I'm not going to push my luck. The bastard's missing a Bombard cannon anyway. With this army I shall play matches with people and have a good time. Particularly Waggles. I still owe him a game.
Update: So with the help of Kel, I've finished the Bombardiers! You can check it out herea!
I'm rather glad Aaron will be joining Scotty and I. There's a few hours of the time where I'll be separated from him, and I felt bad knowing I'd be leaving him on his own. There's the Press Gang Invitational, which I owe Jen (a PP Employee) a Beer for giving her the image of shaving someones body hair so that they look like a Penguin (Surely Devilsquid is white under the fur). And then there's the few hours I'm volunteering at the booth to demo games. So Aaron with him will prevent Scotty from getting Hog Tied and forced into cosplaying Faye Valentine because some sweaty nerds couldn't find a frailer body to match a woman.

Anyway. After all is said and done in Indianapolis, I fly up to Detroit and get picked up by the wonderful Jenny. We've been talking a lot about it recently and organised a few days of entertainment. A couple of nights are spent going out to a few parties for friends Birthdays; there is the night of our 8 month (which I think falls on a birthday party, but I'm thinking we'll have dinner another night so that we can really enjoy it); there's apparently a pub crawl across town with her and her family and friends; there's a Wednesday we're going to spend walking around Downtown Kalamazoo going to the art galleries and to a park that has a free concert and have lunch/breakfast at the place wiith the best Grilled cheese sandwiches; and there's going to the movies to see “Mao's Last Dancer” and “Eat Pray Love”.

That's as far as I can remember so far. The last thing I can remember is “Making the most of doing nothing on a Sunday”. Which sounds good to me. I said we could try and con her mum into looking after Taz for the night and we'll pick him up in the afternoon, just so she doesn't have to stress about him for the day.

So anyone who thinks I'm not excited about going to the U.S., please refer to the above. I'm very excited.

What else has been happening?

Well with buying an Xbox 360 a few months ago on the cheap, I decided to hook it up to the net and get into the Marketplace, and what did I find but None other than Doom. I've never gotten very far in Doom. Didn't help that I only got the shareware versions which only had the first Chapter in it, but hey I think I finished that once or twice.

But over the past week of painting, I've taken breaks to rest my knees which really don't like being crossed for too long and slowly worked my way through the labyrinthian levels and solved the puzzles to get to the exit while trying to get out of the firezone of Cacodemons. Fucking Cacodemons. Hate them. I also downloaded Wolfenstein 3D. Now that's a good investment of my remaining 400 MS points.

More games I'm getting next week is Starcraft II. It's got a special midnight release over at King George Square (Apparently it's 1 in six events across the world!) that starts at 9:30 and includes trivia, games, etc. And at midnight, we pick up our copies of Starcraft II and head home. If I get a lift from Aaron, I imagine it'll be a lot like the time I bought Halo 3, and we drove home laughing Maniacally in his ute as we drove from Aspley to Nundah. Then we played until the wee hours of the morning on Richard HD TV he had in the lounge room and we adored the prettiness of the game as we did a two player campaign coop until the wee hours of the morning.

Good times. I want to not sleep and just play SC2's campaign until I have to go to work, but I think I'll pass out and probably wake up late and then get into trouble and I would rather not get into unnecessary trouble.

That's about it for gaming. Voltron came out, as I made mention, and I've still been blogging every Tuesday and Wednesday on I hate Mogroth trying to make funny AND informative. I'm failing, but I'm enjoying it. Though I am running out of subject matter. I may have to actually branch out more into other factions.

In last news, the Natural High July is going well. I haven't had a drop of caffeinated beverage in ages. Though what I haven't drank I've replaced with Chocolate. Its cool but not at the same time, as it's expensive. Also, people are confusing me becuase some people say chocolate has caffeine and others say it doesnt. I really don't know.

One thing I forgot to mention in the Natural High July post was my other incentive: The almighty dollar. I figured out how much I spent on caffeinated drinks over the course of 31 days and exaggerated it slightly and worked out to be $140 over the course of a month. As each day that I don't have caffeine passes, it lowers by $4.50. But if I do have a drink, it bumps back up to $140. At the end of the month, I give the people of Dry July the remaining amount. So if I have a drink on the last day, I have to pay $140 to dry July.

Like I said, I haven't had any drinks for the whole month passed. I have my doubts about having a drink now. Though I do want to taste a V.

that is a nice update I reckon. I'll catch you kids on the flip side.

22 July 2010

So Jealous Right Now

Stoopid Comic-Con getting stoopid Mega Lo-tron before anyone else does. It should shut it stoopid face.

*Kicks dirt*

Nah, I don't have anything against Comic-con except that they're receiving Mega Lo-tron as a promotional deal for the Voltron Set! (Lucky Blastards) As a special promotion to Comic-Con, they released the information for Mega Lo-tron on Monster Insider.

And so I've yoinked it off the site and now I'll do my usual ramble on whatever tangent I have on the Welch's Mascot. That's right he's big and he's purple, as all evil beings tend to be, and he's got some nifty new tricks.The only things that have stayed the same are Reach, Flight and his 6 Health. Everything else has changed slightly. His Attack stats have all changed to match 7*3 so no major proficiencies are present. Lastly, his Speed and Defence stats have swapped, leaving him less manoeuvrable but less likely to suffer retaliation.

But his attacks have changed. No longer does he has hit and run on his Power Attacks, and Adaptable to give him Super Damage on his Swat attacks (Because Ram is unavailable in the Voltron set due to a lack of structures). Instead he receives a rather rare ability to his repertoire, and a rather cool one in my opinion.
Juggernaut: If a space this monster would move into while rampaging is occupied by 1 or more other monsters, this monster stops moving, and the other monsters suffer 1 damage if their DEF is equal to or less than the number of strikes rolled for the rampage. If this monster is in its hyper form, this attack does super damage.
So he'll crash tackle Voltron for 2 damage. Sounds good to me, especially against two morphers standing next to each other. Fortunately for the Voltron Lions, it's only 3 damage as you only apply Super Damage once.

That's not the only Super Damage he deals, though. One thing that didn't get much recognition in the Ultra forms was their blast attack. It wasn't neglected as it was still a good attack stat, but it didn't have any triggers or skills associated with it. And being of short range, there wasn't any reason to use it except to spite someone and nab that last point of damage they had. Ultra Lo-tron had the Range advantage over Voltron due to Adaptable making Swat Power Attacks tangible, especially with Hit and Run. And now Mega Lo-tron has that kick that turns peoples pants into hats.
Weapon Master: This attack deals Super Damage.
Okay, so it's not quite pants-hat quality, but you can do worse for a Blast Attack Trigger.

But the Grape Ape isn't all about Super Damage, no no. He's got his own nifty little trick just as others do, and it's not anything to shake a stick at. That's right he doesn't have a stick, he has a spikey ball on a flaccid chain. And that tends to scare people.
Power Strike: Target monster’s controller loses a number of P-Dice equal to the number of super strikes you rolled in the attack.
Much like Crunch the attack requires Super Strikes to make effect, but instead of something so plain as Super Damage the target suffers a loss of Power. So if you roll a score of 20 on 10 dice, you've drained your opponent of a second activation, or a potentially dangerous counter attack. But you've got two chances to get a roll of 20: “Almost Nil” and “Next to Bupkis”. Though hats off if it happens for you.

So that's Mega Lo-Tron for you. He's a nice Jack of Trades, and an interesting alternative to his Ultra form.

Next Tuesday: Goldmember

19 July 2010

You could almost believe it was BP...

There aren't many uses for a Hazmat truck. You can use it to transport Hazardous Materials from point A to point B. Which, in Monsterpocalypse, it technically does. You get it from point A: The Spawn Zone, to Point B: The Target.

And for best effect, you ram it straight into point B.

The Hazmat Truck is a danger to everyone around it, with its 3 abilities that can kill everyone around and one that will kill itself because, we're here to discuss the semantics of Explosions and the Hazmat Truck.

Now there are a few forms of explosion here in Monsterpocalypse. The first is his defensive trigger “Unstable”. The image in your minds eye should be simple. A bullet fires into the side tank, and he goes KABOOM! And all units adjacent to him are blown to Smithereens, causing all other units to sidle away from him in future. Especially since it's really easy to hit the Hazmat Trucks Defence 2. A stray sausage roll in a pastry fight could cause it to spark off.
Unstable: If this figure is hit, all adjacent units are crushed. If this figure is a unit, crush it.
But that didn't discourage them from joining in on a fight. “We'll just park ourselves away from him. Surely that'll keep us safe!” they think.

Well... No. Not quite, lads and lassies.

You see, the Hazmat Truck has an effective danger zone of 10 squares when he hits, not including the target of the attack. You see, he explodes on his target and from the space he's attacking from. So friends and enemies are in quite a bit of danger from his 2*1 Brawl stat. And if they help him... Well the image in my head is that a Mollok Brute gets a Carnidon into an arm lock, and then they both stand and stare like a Deer in Headlights as they both realise what's going to happen.
Radial Attack: If target figure is hit, all other units adjacent to the attacking figure with a DEF equal to or less than the number of strikes rolled take 1 damage. If this figure is a monster, all other monsters adjacent to the attacking figure with a DEF equal to or less than the number of strikes rolled also take 1 damage.
Explosion: All monsters and units adjacent to target unit with a DEF equal to or less than the number of strikes rolled take 1 damage.
So there is really no escape for most units unless they want to have a really high base Defence, or have Reach, which means the player has crabs. Wait, that didn't come out right.

Okay, in a bit of seriousness, the Crabs of the Tritons are a good fit with the Hazmat Truck. they have Reach, so they can spread themselves out to perform the combined attack against a unit. This really only affects explosion, however, as it only triggers off units. It's easy to spread about your units thankfully so you can dodge the Radial Attack.

But lastly, and not least, what do you expect a Truck ramming into someone does? Well, it self destructs. Kinda happens when you run straight into something.
Self Destruct: Crush this unit.
And so end the adventures of the Hazmat truck. Until it gets respawned of course... At a cost of 1, and being a neutral unit, it's fun for the whole family! And by family, I mean "Whatever faction you play".

Get your fun time Suicide Bomber today!

Friday: "So jealous right now..."

15 July 2010

I am the voice of Doom.

From days of long ago, from uncharted regions of the universe, comes a legend; the legend of Voltron, Defender of the Universe, a mighty robot, loved by good, feared by evil. As Voltron's legend grew, peace settled across the galaxy. On Planet Earth, a Galaxy Alliance was formed. Together with the good planets of the solar system, they maintained peace throughout the universe, until a new horrible menace threatened the galaxy. Voltron was needed once more. This is the story of the super force of space explorers, specially trained and sent by the Alliance to bring back Voltron, Defender of the Universe!
And now you can play it on your very own table. The pack contains all you need for two players to play on a Voltron Map, brawling over a Super Nova or over a Blazing Comet! It's all fun and games with the Great Protector, Voltron, and his Fiendish Arch Nemesis, Lo-Tron!

Now the Voltron box is not your standard starter set. In the Voltron box, you receive your pre-set figures of 5 u nits and 1 Morpher Monster, a Pentamorpher which I will discuss later, for each side. You get a double sided map specially designed for the Voltron sets. The play area is smaller than the standard Monsterpocalypse map size, but makes up for it by having ability descriptions on each side of the sheet, along with health and dice trackers.

The trackers aren't your traditional Plastic Doohickey with nubs that click across. They are 4 counters you place over rows of numbers set in your side of the Play Mat and you share the set of 24 dice provided in the box.

You play your figures as you normally would for Units and Morphers, but it's a Pentamorpher. One Morpher from each side has the ability Quick, so players who are still used to the Series 3 monsters with 4 morpher figures, there's no worry about it being overly expensive to move your monster around the board. If anything, you can spread out a bit more and have an extra boost to your flanks.
Quick: If this figure is the same FAC as your monster, this figure can advance without spending an A-Die.
Entering your Hyper Form is exactly as it was before. Pick a space where a morpher figure occupied and place a portion of your Hyper Forms base on that space. However, Hypering Down has changed for Pentamophers. The rule for standard morphers is to place the figures within the four spaces the Hyper form occupied. Pentamorphers are different.

You pick a space within the area occupied by your Hyper Form and place one of your five Pentamorphers. The remaining four Pentamorphers are placed anywhere adjacent to that figure. As far as I know, this does not change the rule for standard Morphers.

Aside from those differences, there are no buildings or standard Monsterpocalypse Maps available in the Voltron set, which is easily remedied with buying unit boosters and a Map Pack.
Shameless Plug: Fastbreak has a good stock of Series 1 Map Packs, which contain a large number of maps along with the Government Building, along with unit boosters from all series for sale.
We're ready to form Voltron! Activate interlocks! Dyna-therms connected. Infra-cells up; mega-thrusters are go!
Let's go, Voltron Force!

Next Friday: "So Jealous Right Now"

12 July 2010

The Uprising Wants You

In todays army, we fight with order and synergy. Brothers in arms is more than just a metaphore. It's real. And we fight with a semblance of order in our regiments.

Todays topic is Force Composition. I've seen quite a few different compositions in the past. Some rampant with different units, few sticking to a particular theme. Personally, I stick to faction and vary my units into Groups.
  • Mollok Brutes x3
  • - Elites x2
  • Mollok Berserker x1
  • Mollok Mortar x3
  • - Glass x1
  • - Elite x2
  • Groundbreaker x3
With the release of new units, I have to mix this up. I start with what I have to use, what I have, and then organise them. So I have come up with this.
  • Oppressors x2
  • - Elite x1
  • Mollok Brutes x2
  • - Elite x1
  • Grinder Tank x3
  • - Elite x1
  • - Ral Kurrilik
  • Hazmat Truck
  • Groundbreaker x2
  • Mollok Berserker
So I got rid of the Mollok Mortars. They can't seem to keep up in my opinion so I planted in all of my Grinder Tanks. Now they have a worse attack than the Mollok Mortars. Much worse. The tanks have 3*0 whie the Mortars have 2*1. And I'm all about efficiency. But I'm going to give them a chance. I can see how Ral Kurrilik goes too. He's good for many situations other than just shooting. Red Rage? Game on.

The Oppressors are a nifty choice. I find a bit of excitement out of them actually. Them, the Mollok Berserker and the Hazmat Truck. I reckon that they make for a good combo. Why? Well for an entire 10 action die, you can get off a rather nasty attack.

Spawn a Mollok Berserker, a grunt Oppressor and the Hazmat Truck. You run them all into a target. If you can't get them all on the target, use an action die to Tow the Hazmat Truck up. Then make a combined attack. They all have at least 1 boost die. If the Berserker is adjacent to all, then get another boost die per figure. That's a 3*6 die attack. Sadly, all figures will die from the explosion, but that's still really fun. KABOOM!

Groundbreakers remain to be useful for collecting power points and securing buildings, but I've only had a few cases where he was good for his flank ability. But still plays a good role. And dropping one from my usually array of figures isn't too much of a hassle.

Mollok Brutes stay. The three of them to make a 3*8 attack out of the blue makes me giggle. And being Defence 4 and Speed 5 with Jump makes them pretty reliable to get across the field to mess someone up.

But this is my choice. What compositions do other people come up with and why?

Next Week: You could almost believe it was BP...

08 July 2010

Hit me Mogroth one more time

Okay, I'll begin by saying I'm sorry if I teased people into thinking this was about Mogroth. Frankly, I'm waiting for Quantum Mogroth to see if a completely different alternative to his Ultra and Mega fai– sorry, FORMS – can improve him.

But No, this is the final installation of the MC-Thugrosh blogpost series. That's right, the end is nigh ladies and gentlemen, and you will be so relieved once you've finished reading this post. The same sort of relief you get from passing gall stones.

Both forms keep very little from their Alpha and Ultra forms. The Blackcurrant Overlord Cthugrosh kept Jump and Terrify, while the metallic monstrosity Mechathugrosh kept Halt. Otherwise, their whole basket of tricks has flipped upside down and into something a bit more... offensive.

It has been made a point by some players that Mega Ribena King is better than his Ultra Form by offending much more than his support. His previous attacks were rather standard, and while Fling on the blast made for some great range, there just isn't enough in the way to prevent a Monster from making a Power Attack against you. So why not, remain a Blastard and just give it a kick.
Overload: If target monster’s controller has more than 5 P-Dice, this monster’s attack does super damage.
So it's a question of how your opponent wants to fight. Do they want to suffer 2 damage per Blast? Are they able? Do they want to run light on Power Die and spend more Action Die? It's an interesting question for opponents, one that is answered on a player by player basis. Quite a few will suffer the Super damage, but because they can deal more damage at the same time. Always a good reason, in my opinion.

Once again, the great imitating comedians that are Ubercorp International, kept to the same plot as Cthugrosh and made Mechathugrosh a Blastard as well making the Gatling Snout more effective. While UCI couldn't develop an item to measure power (All prototypes explodes at 9000 against the side of someones head) they decided on something a bit more reliable.
Crunch: If this monster’s attack rolled 1 or more super strikes, it does super damage.
Much more reliable on Blast Stats of 6*3. While Super Strikes are 1 in 6 chance per die, you're still rolling 9 dice before you add Power-die into the attack. Chances are good, my friend. But one thing that Mr Boomboxes has that Mr Purple Nurple doesn't, is an advantage to his attacks.
Rage: After this figure hits with an attack, gain +1 P-Die.
It's as simple as you can get, but Cthugrosh doesn't have that. He can't gain Power Die with every attack he makes. He needs to destroy a unit or a form to do that. Or he can take a hit.
Power Sink: If your opponent rolls 1 or more P-Dice in an attack, gain +1 P-Die.
One thing that's a guarantee in this game is that players who like taking multiple activations will use Power Die on their attacks. And with my group, there are a lot of Power Attacks being thrown around. So the Gigantic Gelatine that is Cthugrosh will gain a Power-Die After Power-Die each turn. While it's only 1 die, that one can change the outcome of the game. Give you that one extra space for a Power Attack throw or Smash; maybe give a better guarantee for the blast attack; or just intimidate your opponent into having a hasty unit turn to protect their own monster.

A ctivate copy and paste, and add some UCI ingenuity, and we justify the Red Stripe for Mechathugrosh.
Riled: If this figure is hit, gain +1 P-Die.
In my mind, the wonderful mind with yellow bricks roads leading to the underdome that is Cthul's playground, Mechathugrosh is pretty much what I would call the energiser bunny. It just keeps going and going and going without any energy to lose.

That's pretty much all Mega Mechathugrosh (say that 5 times fast) has to offer. The only other thing Mega Cthugrosh has is an insult to injury.
Mire: Enemy units count spaces within 2 spaces of this figure twice when advancing into them.
Units couldn't touch him, and units have a hard time getting away from him. While not as effective as Halt, the ability itself didn't exist until series 3. So spare a little liniency.

So ladies an gentlemen, now that I have finished making analogies and comparisons and innuendos about Robots and Tentacles, I bid you adieu and hope you enjoy next weeks post.

Next week: I am the voice of Doom.

07 July 2010

But like a car crash, you can't just look away

Tuesday night was fun. Rather than the current plan of “Go to Scotts for painting” which we've done the past few weeks, I stayed at Fastbreak. It helped that I got a message from Kel asking if I was going to Fastbreak, and one from Andy asking how long I'll be there for. I almost suspected Bernadette would be bringing in cake for me again, like she did last year.

While I didn't get cake, I did bring in my Voltron Monsterpocalypse set and played a few games with Pekin, Doc, and Kel. W e got a fair few games in between us, swapping monsters over and over again. It was very fun and we tested out both maps as well.
Sidenote: one must remember that some Power Crystals on the Comet Map are on Rough Terrain.
Also: It's really hard to keep out of the way of a supernova.
We organised with Paul for a release event as well. We go to fastbreak, grab box and sit down for shenannigannery. July 16th for those interested!

Last night though, while waiting for jenny to message me, I went onto youtube and looked up the first and second episodes of Voltron. The lion one, not the vehicle one. And boy was it bad. Fair enough, it was like watching Speed Racer where everything was so cheaply done it's not funny, but the voices... oh god the voices.

Sven was really trying too hard to put on an accent. And don't get me started on Pidge. He sounds like he's chocking on a kazoo. They could've gotten a throat cancer patient with cotton wool stuffed in his cheeks to do a better job.

But I watched it until I drifted off to sleep during the last part of the second episode. I enjoyed it though, and a few memories started sparking up in the depths of my mind. It's been so long, all I could remember was Voltron himself. But now I'm slowly remembering more and more. I think. I just remember the funny door to the arena where the Robeast would enter from.

Good times. I'm going to watch more tonight as I paint some figures.

05 July 2010

Voltron in the HIZZOUSE!

Saturday was a giggly day. I play a game called Monsterpocalypse, where you get a monster, a handful of units, and you run rampant in a town as you destroy your opponents monster and units. Buildings are everywhere and you deal more damage as you throw them into buildings!

But Saturday, I got Voltron. Anyone who remembers it will remember the five lions forming into a Giant robot with a sword and a funny hat. That's him, along with his arch nemesis: Lo-Tron, a guy with batwings and a flail (“My wings are a shield of steel”).

Kel and I each got a box each to get some demo games in so we're probably going to have a practise run tonight at Fastbreak.

I'm excited.

Spray and Pray

Tanks, the classic form of artillery. They come in all shapes and uses. Long range, short range, ballistic, lightning arcs, and even AntiAircr-OW! Stop it Scott.

But these have mostly been limited to GUARD, the humanoid faction who have tanks up the whazoo. But with the Subterran Uprising coming forth they bring their own vehicles. And for lack of a better description, they're Tanks. And so we have Todays Highlight: Grinder Tanks.

I wasn't sure what to expect of these guys. There had already been a preview of Ral Kurrilik who has a unique style of play. So that means whatever he does has NOTHING to do with what the others do.

In a previous blog, I mentioned that the only spoilers available about the grinder tanks was that they have the Marker advantage. This is true, and frankly it's a great ability. The number of times it has foiled my plans for domination have been remarkable.
Marker (Advantage): If this figure participated in an attack that missed, reroll the attack roll with dice in play
But that's just the spoiler. There are two abilities that it's missing. Well, actually there's one. Frankly, one of them is Obvious: Burrow. If you have a Moleman and he doesn't have burrow, then he has Jump.

But the last ability on this guy is interesting, there's only one other figure that has it, and I keep getting an AntiAircr-OW! Scott, stop it... tank thrown at my head.
Flak: If target unit has Flight, all monsters and units adjacent to it with Flight and a DEF equal to or less than the number of strikes rolled take 1 damage.
Wow, that's... Terrible. So your target needs flight. Right, fair enough. Your target needs to have other flying units around it to be effective! Yeah... That's... That''s pretty limited to a few themed armies. Like Sky Sentinel. And... Martian Menace! And... I dunno. Seriously, there are few situations where it can take advantage of a situation. The only figure that has Flak is the AntiAircr-OW! Scott, stop it - and it has Anti-Air.
Anti-Air: If this figure participates in an attack against a figure with Flight , this figure gains +1 brawl and blast B-Dice.
The AA-Tank (OW!) lucks out at relatively poor manoeuvrability and poor blast and brawl attacks. Having 1*0 on both their attacks, the Grinder Tank gets to play around with up to 3 Action-die on either of their attacks. And they get to re-roll it. This is useful anywhere, whereas Anti-Air can only be used on the short range Blast he has. It works on his brawl, however, he can't target flying units with his brawl.

Now I see what they were aiming for. You have an AA Battery firing many MANY bullets into the sky to try and hit something and if they're cluttered together, well then the saying "Spray and Pray" is true to its word.

And with the presence of Ral-Kurrilik (Ï'm getting really good at remembering how to type his name) you can get more benefits out of it. Red Rage on him gives them that little bonus to the resolution of their attacks.
Rage: After this figure hits with an attack, gain +1 P-Die.
So you get a 3 A-die attack with a basic Grinder Tank, with a Re-Roll and extra Power Die when you hit? Game on. I'll be testing the fella out over the next few weeks so keep your hats on kids!

Next week: The Uprising Wants You

01 July 2010

A Carnidon walks into a bar...

...and the Bartender says "You're the worst Bruce Campbell Impersonator I've ever met."

The Carnidon is a poor victim of punishment. He gets the short straw every time there's an example he could be involved in, whether it's being crushed, flung, run over or abducted, he's always there to lend a helping hand because there's nothing else he can really do.

But why? What's wrong with the Carnidon? Why does such a prestigious blog like "I Hate Mogroth" (I'm snickering as I write this) like to pick on the Carnidon?

Well frankly, it's because he's useless anywhere else. Lets have a look at his stats.
  • Speed 4
  • Defence 3
  • Brawl 2*1
So he's a bit slow, ironic for a stat called 'Speed'. He has an average unit Defence, and his Brawl is pretty good too, they can really dig into a good brawl if they want. No blast stat, which makes sense since he's no Godzilla. So he's a Brawler. Now lets look at his abilities and see what he has to offer.

Okay then. So he has no manoeuvrability, which makes getting him across the board that much harder. He doesn't have anything special when he attacks, so he has to rely on brute force. And he doesn't really disrupt anything, except maybe cluttering up the field.

There are other alternatives, like the Raptix.
  • Speed 6
  • Defence 2
  • Brawl 2*0
  • Jump
  • Anti-air
  • Flank
The Raptix was introduced the same time as the Carnidon. And frankly, he was a preferable option over the Carnidon. Jump to manoeuvre and attack flying units; anti-air to take advantage of flying units; Flank to support friendly units and help with their own attack.

Nobody really fielded a Carnidon unless they had to. And the only reason you'd field a Carnidon is to secure buildings. They have a reasonable defence, and with the added bonus of cover, it's not a bad option. And if anyone attacks, they can hustle and because they have a decent brawl, all they have to worry about is whether or not the target is flying.

But we here at I Hate Mogroth believe that everyone has at least 1 second job. Unfortunately it's regularly ridicule. But the Carnidon is better than Ridicule. It doesn't get its feelings hurt by someone saying "Oh that unit is crap". No, he gets physically hurt for the sake of example! He's the plastic army man in the little kids sandpit who goes on wonderful adventures where he dies over and over again. The Carnidon is happy to take the job. Recognition in a way nobody else can get? That sounds fantastic!

We don't hate the Carnidon. He's our favourite and he can only get better. And if there are more interesting situations that we can subject him to, then I can't wait.

Next Week: Hit me Mogroth One More Time