Monsterpocalypse Revisited

monsterpocalypse

It’s been a little over six months since I first tried out Privateer Press‘s  Monsterpocalypse collectible miniatures game at GenCon 08.  Although initial reactions showed potential I decided to hold off forming a definite opinion until I played the game more and got a better feel for it.  So now that I’ve had the chance to do so and have reevaluated the game I’ve determined that my opinion hasn’t changed much, and that really isn’t a good thing.

I’m just not sold on Monsterpocalypse. It just doesn’t reach out and grab me and shake the dice (and bucks!) out of my pockets like some of the other games I’ve played do.  There’s a lot of good aspects of the game – the resource management aspect is interesting and the monster-on-monster power-attack-fueled combat is phenomenal.  The mechanics themselves are pretty solid.  There’s some ambiguity on special rule interaction but on the whole the rules just work.

On the other hand so much of the game is built around the units – using them to claim areas of the map or killing your opponent’s units to build up power dice.  It really takes a lot of the focus away from the monster.  Units have so many responsibilities and tasks to perform and so many options to do so just so that a couple turns in your monster can really start trashing the opponent – assuming he’s not keeping away while his units do a lot of the work for him.

If there were no units in Monsterpocalypse or they were de-emphacized to the point where monsters did basically all the work I would enjoy the game much more.  That wasn’t destined to happen though — the myriad of unit types and the fact that you field fifteen in your army was necessary to promote unit booster sales.  That’s just a key to maintaining the (IMO detrimental) collectable nature of the game.

I guess what it comes down to is that in a game about giant monsters smashing each others’ face in, I don’t think I should be spending over half my play-time dealing with units.  For me the kaiju genre has always been about the monsters, but too much of Monsterpocalypse emphasizes the units.  And IMO that’s not a good thing.

That said if Monsterpocalypse was still insanely popular locally I’d probably keep playing but that’s not the case here.  In the beginning there were always Monsterpocalypse games going on during open Warmachine/Hordes game nights locally (most MonPoc players were also WM/H players).  You don’t see that anymore.  Monsterpocalypse has become “that tournament game” that only really gets played at organized events.  And our last two tournaments have had four players show up to in total.  That’s not a thriving community.

Will the newest expansion I Chomp New York revitalize the community?  I really can’t say.  But I can say it’s not likely to rekindle my interest even if it does.  It’s not a bad game and I realize there are players who really enjoy it, but for me the game has just lost its luster.

3 thoughts on “Monsterpocalypse Revisited

  • I totally agree with you man. I watched many demos get played but have not played the game myself. Each time I watch one there is something about it that just doesn’t grab me. I don’t like how the monsters look (‘cept for the aliens), the game is to expensive for a beer and pretzels collectible game and it all just seems kind of… I don’t know, meh? It just doesn’t get me excited.

  • I can see your points and don’t vehemently disagree with them. As someone who has bought in and does have a collection I can say I really do enjoy the game. I think the main problem we are suffering from here in St Louis is the fact that we have only one or two MonPoc players who are not also Warmachine/Hordes players. For the most part the initial push mainly picked up those of us who already played PP games and with all that’s been going on latly on that from with the release of Metamorph and the MKII announcement very few of us were even thinking about MonPoc.

    It’s a fun game with enough depth to retain my interest… if I wanted a beer and prez game I’d go play Zombies 1 – ?. I enjoy the aspect of balancing the units, smashing the city, and working it to get those back to back monster turns to totally smash face.

    At this point if MonPoc is to really grow it needs to spread to other comunities and not be relegated to the majority of the players 2nd game. At that point it will have a much better chance to shine. Here in St Louis it’s had a harder time to get a foot hold but down in Cape Girardeau Mo they don’t seem to be having a hard time supporting multiple tournaments a month and also have what seems to be a good comunity… at least based on what I’ve seen having their venue listed on my profile at PPEvents and PMing the MonPoc PG down there.

  • Sure, like I said I can’t criticize the game as being bad. The rules are solid and the mechanics all work together. I can see why folks do enjoy it a fair bit. I guess you could say my only objects are to the conceptual design of parts of the game, not to the implementation.

    For PP’s sake and for those in the local community who enjoy the game I do hope it continues to do well. I just would have liked something just a little different. No biggie – there’s still plenty of other games out there! 🙂

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