Tabletop Game: Monsterpocalypse
Hell yes.Reach Out and Crush Someone!Monsterpocalypse
is a collectible miniatures game from Privateer Press, the creators of the Iron Kingdoms
setting and its war game spin-offs Warmachine
The idea is pretty simple: players take the role of giant monsters
representing one of several factions vying for control of the Earth. The game itself is a little more complicated...
In a game of Monsterpocalypse, each player's monster is supported by up to 15 smaller figures representing "units", most of which can assist in fighting and some of which provide additional abilities to other figures. There are also figures that represent buildings, from apartment buildings to commercial skyscrapers to industrial sites, most of which will get destroyed during the battle between the two monsters; each player brings 2 to 12 buildings with which to populate the play map representing the battlefield.
Gameplay revolves around a pool of Action Dice which are used to spawn units, or to move or attack with units or monsters. Action Dice spent on units are moved into the pool for the monster, and vice versa; thus, players usually alternate between a Unit Activation (where they spawn, move, and attack with units) and a Monster Activation (where they move and attack with their monster). Players can also "power up" their monster by rolling action dice; this gives Power Dice that can be spend on devastating Power Attacks, to enhance regular attacks, or to transform their monster from its default Alpha form to its more powerful "Hyper" form. The object of the game is to defeat the opponent's monster by killing both its Alpha and Hyper forms.
The game's first core set, Rise
, offers six factions:
- G.U.A.R.D. (Protectors), a paramilitary force backed by the United Nations, spearheaded by giant robots and supported by an army of high-tech combat vehicles. Think GDI backing up Mazinger Z, and you're not far off the mark.
- Terrasaurs (Radicals), dinosaur-like giant monsters, akin to Godzilla, that primarily target heavily-polluting industrial centers, and have thus earned the support of the ecoterrorist group Green Fury.
- Lords of Cthul (Fiends), giant, eldritch, extra-dimensional monsters summoned by a secret cult that now rampage throughout major cities, spreading fear and terror apparently for the sake of it.
- Planet Eaters (Destroyers), enigmatic aliens who seek only to ravage cities and consume as much biomass as they can find.
- Martian Menace (Invaders), desperate alien invaders from the dead planet Mars who seek to plunder Earth of its rich resources.
- Shadow Sun Syndicate (Collaborators), an enigmatic criminal cartel based in Japan that plots to save (and then take over) the world by fighting off the other factions with Ultraman-like super-soldiers known as Zors that can grow to the size of skyscrapers.
The following sets, I Chomp NY
and All Your Base
, introduced new monsters, new units, and new buildings. The fourth set, Monsterpocalypse Now
, introduced six further factions:
Big In Japan
- Elemental Champions (Protectors), heroic samurai monks who channel the power of the elements to conjure giant warriors in order to combat the various threats to world peace.
- Empire of the Apes (Radicals), giant apes from Darkest Africa who fight savagely to protect the balance of nature. Think Gorilla Grodd leading King Kong and the Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
- Subterran Uprising (Fiends), underground-dwelling humanoids who, at the behest of their tyrannical new Underlord, seek to take over the surface world and enslave humanity.
- Savage Swarm (Destroyers), voracious mutated insects who have emerged from the American Midwest and started devouring everything in their path.
- Tritons (Invaders), undersea conquerors armed with giant sea monsters and amphibious assault craft that seek to take Earth's costal cities for their own.
- Ubercorp International (Collaborators), a sometime rival of the Shadow Sun Syndicate that has begun producing fierce robot duplicates of monsters from other factions for their own sinister purposes.
released even more monsters, units and buildings.
The game is also being used as the basis for a Voltron
game, where Voltron and the Galaxy Garrison forces fight the Robeast
Lo-Tron and the Drule Empire. All Voltron
units use the same rules and stats as the rest of Monsterpocalypse (Galaxy Garrison are Protectors, Planet Doom are Fiends), and are fully compatible. So if you desire to have the G.U.A.R.D. to face down the Drule Empire, or want to see Voltron battle Martians, you can.
In summer of 2010, a movie adaptation directed by Tim Burton and written by John August was announced.
This game features examples of the following tropes:
- Alien Invasion - With two different flavors of aliens!
- Alluring Anglerfish - Anglax
- Apocalypse How - Could end up as anything from class 0 to class 5 depending on which faction ultimately wins in the end.
- Arm Cannon - Rogzor has two.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever - This applies to all the units in the game. We have Shinobi, G-Tanks, Carnidons, Task Masters, etc., which are all over-sized versions of ninjas, tanks, dinosaurs, eldritch horrors, etc..
- Author Avatar - One of the buildings available is the Privateer Press offices. It's indestructible, and very shiny.
- BFG - There are quite a few Big Freaking Guns in Monsterpocalypse, though Rogzor definitely has the Biggest Freaking Guns of them all.
- That was until Blastik-Rukivall showed up.
- A preview of the Empire of the Apes Morpher has been posted on the official website. It's only got one Arm Cannon, but it puts Blastik's to shame.
- For units, we have the Howitzer Ape, which is a giant ape carrying a howitzer.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies - The entire Savage Swarm faction.
- Big Eater - The Terrasaurs, the Planet Eaters, and the Savage Swarm.
- Bland-Name Product - Applied to a few monuments:
- Imperial State Building = Empire State Building.
- Crystalline Building = Chrysler Building.
- Tokyo Triumph = Tokyo Tower.
- Body Horror - The Meat Slave from the Lords of Cthul faction.
- Captain Ersatz - Pretty much every monster in the game is a take off of another monster from another media source, though the most obvious examples are:
- Terra Khan = Godzilla
- All the monsters from the Lords of Cthul = Cthulu
- Defender X/Sky Sentinel = Mazinger Z
- Zor-Maxim = Ultraman
- King Kondo = King Kong
- Pteradax = Rodan
- Krakenoctus = the Kraken
- And then Ubercorp build Captain Ersatz versions of everyone else's monsters!
- Chained by Fashion - King Kondo
- Character Alignment - Each faction falls into one of 6 "agendas" which fill the role of alignments.
- Protectors (G.U.A.R.D. and the Elemental Champions) are the good guys. They want to protect humanity and civilization as a whole, even if it means demolishing a few priceless monuments by throwing monsters into them.
- Radicals (Terrasaurs and Empire of the Apes) have a goal and will do anything to achieve it, if civilization stands in the way of that goal then it's going down. Could be considered Well-Intentioned Extremist.
- Fiends (Lords of Cthul and Subterran Uprising) are classic villains, motivated by a desire to spread as much death and suffering as they can. Always Chaotic Evil.
- Destroyers (Planet Eaters and Savage Swarm) are basically just HUNGRY and they aren't too picky. It's nothing personal, they may not even be intelligent enough to bear a grudge, humans are just good eatin'.
- Invaders (Martian Menace and Tritons) want something the humans have, natural resources, land, people, and they're going to take it whether we like it or not.
- Collaborators (Shadow Sun Syndicate and Ubercorp International) are motivated by self-interest and greed. They may help people, they may hurt people, but in the end they won't do anything that isn't of benefit to them.
- Chunky Salsa Rule - Under most circumstances, if a monster is thrown into a unit, or a unit is in the way of a charge, it's gone.
- Crapsack World - Would you really want to live in a world where every giant monster movie and Super Robot show was going on at once?
- Cognizant Limbs - Ancient Osheroth. In its initial form, there's four tentacles roving around, each of which can attack and be attacked separately while his main body remains hidden underground. When Osheroth goes into Hyper mode (whether voluntarily or because the tentacles were depleted of vitality) they get retracted and Osheroth itself makes an appearance.
- Combat Tentacles - Many units/monsters from the Lords of Cthul use tentacles as their main weapon, but Ancient Osheroth really takes the cake. Hell, he even has names for four of them.
- The giant octopus monster; Krakenoctus.
- Combination Attack - Two allied monsters can perform team-up attacks, such as the double head-butt.
- Combining Mecha - Morpher-type monsters, (naturally) introduced in the Voltron expansion. At this point all 6 of the original factions have them, although with any of the factions other than G.U.A.R.D. it's more like combining Eldritch Abomination or Giant Ninja. They consist of four units as the alpha form of the monster, and one monster as the hyper form that the four units combine to make.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive - Wallace Weir, President of Ubercorp International. Apparently the destruction of civilization by giant monsters is an ideal time to make a buck.
- Darkest Africa - Home of the Empire of the Apes. At least until Kondo decided to reject the hierophants' advice and explore the outside world...
- Destructive Savior - G.U.A.R.D.
- Drill Mole- Most of the Subterran Uprising units are these, most notable is Drillcon-Vorionnik.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin - Planet Eater units, such as the 'Belcher' and the Explodohawk'
- Eldritch Abomination - The Lords of Cthul.
- Elemental Powers - If you couldn't guess, this is how the Elemental Champions kill things. Every monster and unit corresponds to the 4 classical elements which leads to:
- Enemy Mine - Every faction can be played along side one of two other factions in the game according to an "Agenda Wheel" provided by the game's manual. A faction may ally with whomever comes before and after them in the following list: GUARD and Elemental Champions (Defenders), Terrasaurs and the Empire of the Apes (Radicals), Lords of Cthul and Subterran Uprising (Fiends), Planet Eaters and Savage Swarm (Destroyers), Martian Menace and Tritons (Invaders), Shadow Sun Syndicate and Ubercorp International (Collaborators), and back to GUARD and Elemental Champions.
- Everything's Better With Giant Apes - The Empire of the Apes.
- Everything's Even Worse With Giant Bipedal Armored Hammerhead Sharks Who Shoot Lasers Out Of Their Eyes - Leviathron.
- Extreme Omnivore - Though the Terrasaurs do enjoy a human-sandwich now and again, what they really enjoy eating is industrial waste. See also the Destroyers Agenda.
- Extra Eyes - Mogroth has two enormous ones on stalks that come out of his back.
- Excuse Plot: So far the plot has been just background info for factions that provides why the monsters are here and why nearly any of them will fight. In that regard it at least does a good job.
- Fan Nickname - Crustaceor is always called Lobstroyer. Kondo normally gets called Grape Ape, because of his purple Quantum mode. Hondo and Yasheth are sometimes called DDR Ape and DDR Demon respectively, because of their 'action poses'.
- On a releated note, Xixorax is also known in the Fandom as "The Buggernaught".
- Fastball Special - Oh yes, the rules make this possible.
- Fem Bot - Nova ESR.
- Flying Saucer - The Ares Mothership and an actual unit named Flying Saucer from the Martian Menace faction.
- For the Evulz: The Fiends M.O. the Lords of Cthul like to destroy and corrupt everything because they can.
- Frickin' Laser Beams - All over the place.
- Fun with Acronyms - Globally United Advanced Research and Defense.
- Gaia's Vengeance - Subverted. Though members of Green Fury claim that the Terrasaurs have awoken to punish man-kind for its rampant pollution of the earth, the ancient dinos actually seem more interested in eating industrial waste than extracting any kind of revenge.
- The Empire of the Apes plays it more straight, though.
- Geodesic Cast - Isn't it funny how all of the factions have the same numbers of units and monsters?
- Giant Enemy Crab - The Tritons, naturally, have these.
- Giant Flyer - Several of the monsters are capable of flying through various means.
- Gravity Master - Xaxor.
- Grievous Harm with a Body - Many of the Power Attacks, such as Smash, Swat, and Throw.
- Highly-Visible Ninja - Both subverted and played straight. The Shadow Sun Syndicate features giant ninjas called Zors as their monsters. These Zors are as tall as a building and are normally impossible to miss. Some, however, like to employ a special form of cloaking technology which makes it impossible to see them (and thus, hit them with ranged attacks) unless you get right up in their face.
- Horde of Alien Locusts - The Planet Eaters.
- Hot Scientist - Dr. Arisu Kaneko, genius nanotechnician and creator of the Zors for the Shadow Sun Syndicate. Word of God says she's also a hottie, and we'll just have to take that since she's never been shown in any official artwork.
- Humongous Mecha - GUARD's monsters, along with everything Ubercorp creates.
- Jet Pack - The GUARD monsters Sky Sentinel, Defender X and Nova ESR all have giant jet turbines attached to their backs which act as jet packs. The Airborne Apes use jetpacks as well, although they're cobbled together from the engines of wrecked planes.
- Improbable Weapon User - Several Empire of the Apes figures. The Frontline Ape carries a security truck and Gakura uses a train as a flail.
- Kill It with Ice - White Dajan removes all the subtlety from this by simply clubbing things with a giant icicle.
- Laser Blade - Doubles as a BFS since it's carried by the giant robot Laser Knight.
- The Mafia - The Shadow Sun Syndicate.
- Meaningful Name - Terrasaurs. Also, the monsters from the Martian Menace faction are all named after different parts of Mars and its moons.
- Mega Corp.- The Shadow Sun Syndicate and Uber Corp International.
- Miracle-Gro Monster: If we assume that Tyrannix grows from a (relatively) tiny egg on the back of a truck to a full-sized monster instantly.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Zor-Macros and Vorgax
- Monumental Battle - You can smash monsters all over New York or Tokyo. Or some weird combination of the two.
- Monumental Damage - One of the buildings that can be placed on the battle map (and destroyed) is the Statue of Liberty.
- The Night That Never Ends - The ultimate goal of the Subterran Uprising is to block out the sun, allowing them to rule the surface without harming their photosensitive eyes.
- Nuclear Nasty - Hint: Giant radioactive Bugs !
- Nuke 'em - Averted. There are so many monsters on so many different parts of the globe that nuking them all would mean the complete destruction of the planet. None of the factions actually want to blow the planet up, as then it would be useless to all of them.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder - If it's not a main monster, it's this.
- One-Winged Angel - Alpha and Hyper forms.
- Planet Eater - While they don't actually eat the ground they walk on, and they seem to be taking a relatively long time to do it, the Planet Eaters still fit their trope namesake.
- Planet Looters - The Martian Menace are here for Earth's resources.
- Pop Culture Pun Series Title - AllYourBase and Monsterpocalypse Now
- Portmanteau Series Nickname - MonPoc just rolls off the tongue better.
- Power Equals Rarity - Averted and played straight. The Mega versions of the monsters are only available through promotions. They have unique abilities and change the way the monster plays but generally they aren't any more powerful than the equivelant Ultra versions which can be bought in stores. On the other hand, promotional Shadow and Glass units are usually more powerful than the units they are based on.
- They're also either one-shot units (while most units can be recycled again and again) in the case of Glass, or more expensive in the case of Shadow. In the end, it (probably) balances out.
- Punny Name - The maps have some pretty bad ones, such as "Highway to Hellvue" and "Kill-Again's Island".
- There are offices for a newspaper called "The End Times"
- Rings of Death - Zor Magna has herself two of these.
- Robeast - Everything not a Kaiju or Super Robot. Now with actual Robeasts!
- Rock Me, Asmodeus! - Most buildings in this game produce either a rubble tile, fire tile, nuclear tile or chemical tile when they are destroyed. Rubble tiles just make moving more difficult, while fire/nuclear/chemical tiles actually do damage to models that pass over them. Destroy the Music Producer building, and what do you see? A gate to the netherworld.
- Rocket Punch - Defender X.
- Schedule Slip - Big in Japan is very late. The whole game is basically one series behind where is should be now.
- Shout-Out - To pretty much every giant monster movie/book/etc. ever made.
- Sickly Green Glow - Just to add that extra touch of evil to the Martian Menace.
- Sizeshifter - In the backstory, Zors start out the battle man sized, but then grow to the size of sky scrapers thanks to highly advanced Nano Machines that have been implanted into their bodies.
- Standard Sci-Fi Army - They may be hi-tec but G.U.A.R.D. still relies on fairly standard tanks, choppers and jets to support their Super Robots.
- Super Robot - G.U.A.R.D.'s and Ubercorp's "monster" of choice.
- Take Cover - Units can get bonuses to their defense stat by standing next to a building or friendly monster, or by standing in a tree square, making them harder to hit with ranged attacks.
- The Tokyo Fireball - Tokyo's the setting of set 5, "Big in Japan". Maybe not a fireball per se, but you just know the commensurate amount of wreckage will ensue...(Poor Shadow Sun...)
- Tokyo Tower - It's called the Tokyo Trimph, but it's there, and you can crush it!
- Tome of Eldritch Lore - The Book of the Cthulax.
- There Are No Coincidences - You might believe that it's really unfortunate timing that all these monsters show up at once, but the Tritons don't. The Zoa Prophecy predicts that the Monsterpocalypse would be heralded by a six-tailed star falling from heaven. The Planet Eaters came to earth on a comet that split into six parts and landed around the globe.
- This Is a Drill - Subterran's weapon of choice.
- Tractor Beam - The Abduct action either represents this, or Weapons That Suck.
- Transformation Is a Free Action - Well, it doesn't use any action dice...
- Tripod Terror - The Martian Menace monsters Deimos-9 and Phobos-7, and the Reaper and Despoiler units.
- Turns Red - Defeating a monster requires you to defeat both the Alpha and Hyper forms. Those with a low hyper cost may be able to switch between forms almost at will with a good resource flow, but those with a higher cost may want to use this as a strategy, where they just use their power dice for attacks and only go Hyper if their Alpha form is defeated.
- Ultra Terrestrials - The Subterrans and the Tritons.
- Villain with Good Publicity - Both the Shadow Sun Syndicate and Ubercorp International go to great lengths to keep up the appearance of being the good guys while making a tidy profit from the Monsterpocalypse to boot, at least in public. Ok, it's hard to view them as outright villainous when they are beating up the Lords of Cthul or the Planet Eaters but they certainly aren't the shining knights they want the world to think they are.
- Weaponized Car - One of the Terrasaur units introduced in the All Your Base expansion is the Green Fury Van, a heavily-armed van full of heavily-armed eco-terrorists.
- Weaponized Landmark - Your monster can throw another into the Chrysler Building to burn them, impale them on the Empire State Building, or roll the 'Pacific Eye', a huge ferris wheel, into them.
- Weapons That Suck - The Subterran Opressor unit has vacuum weapons grafted to both of its arms. It uses then to suck up people!
- We Have Reserves - The way the game works is that each player gets up to 15 units to go along with their one (or two) monster(s). Once a unit dies, it may be respawned during your next turn. This means that you can never exhaust your unit pool, leading to an infinite supply of cheap and disposable soldiers, unless they somehow decide to field all Fragile units.
- Wrestler in All of Us - All of the Monsters can use 'Power Attacks', which include throws and body slams. Even Martian motherships.