So Privateer Press has released the rules documents for set 4, Monsterpocalypse Now. Thus, I am in a gaming mood tonight. Random thoughts:
- They don’t list the old abilities on there, so no correction for Satellite Support yet. =(
- You can tell this rulebook is a 2nd edition with things more neatly laid out and a better flow over all. The grouping of power attacks (by what they target) is very nice and should help clear up a lot of rules questions before they start.
- Much more graphics and pictures in this. So they don’t just talk about what a monster starting zone is, they show you a dotted box outline.
- Some building only abilities (like discount and spire) are listed with specific factions. So while we won’t get any morphers, looks like there will be installations in this new block.
- On page 5 of the rulebook there is a picture of the Newspaper Office building. It’s the media hub model painted green with a giant globe on top labeled “the End Times”. Yes, the Daily Planet of Superman fame has now come to monsterpocalypse. Is it any wonder I love this game?
- The Ubercorp monsters (one of the factions I was thinking about picking up) have a solid orange color for their ultra form. So I guess I won’t. (I hate the color orange. I guess that makes me racist against Oompa-Loompas.)
- The ability Fortify was one of the worst abilities released in the game. Only 1 figure of the previous 3 sets had it. Now 2 factions are getting it as well as a building (apparently). Why? Why are they keeping this ability around?
- There are 2 new “hazards” out: Hellfont and Chemical. Chemical is like radiation for mechanical monsters, but only if they are at full health. Hellfont acts like an additional spawn point for fiend monsters. Man I wish those Towers of Corruption had it.
- There are now 7 energy types listed, one of them “elemental”. So looks like we mostly have a repeat of previous energy types except for 1 and a gain of 1. So now we’re down to what are the energy types for Tritons and Subterran Uprising.
Quickly scanning the rule book I see no major updates (mostly just a codification of existing rules like the one that no stat can drop below ‘1’). So let’s move on to new abilities. (note, this isn’t comprehensive on ALL the new abilities, just the ones that jump out at me)
- Command – The unit equivalent of Beacon, I’ve long said there needed to be an action like this with so many units out there granting great monster abilities. Big boost for brawlers.
- Ignite – The reverse of extinguish, this ability flips rubble onto its hazard side.
Which is really cool and all but man this could lead to rule nightmares. If a building is destroyed (say, apartment building) with no preset rubble, can you replace it with any tile? Giving you a potential extra chemical or radiation spot if you can flip it?
- Restoration – Gain a health if you’re on a power zone.
- – No new advantages this set. That kind of surprised me.
- Demolish – Brawl/Blast trigger that mimics a ram power attack. I gotta admit, I enjoy these “power attack simulators” we’ve been getting lately.
- Grind – Lightning Attack except you have to drop some dice first (2 of each A, P, B dice).
- Power Strike – Yay! Another ability running on superstrikes. And it drains P-dice. Man that would have been great for Martians.
- Riot – If you roll a p-dice, you get to make a rampage, stomp or ram power attack. So it’s a more limited Chain Attack really.
- Live Wire – When a building’s destroyed, monsters on or adjacent to it take 1 damage. So it’s a Spire with a potential explosion built in. I just love the potential suicidal chaos you could cause with this.
- Roller – A reaction that turns a building into a smash power attack. Which is just awesome for the visual.
- Amphibious – Ok, now even I will agree that the movement abilities are getting out of hand. We need a freakin’ chart for them!
- Champion – The reverse “leadership”. The fig gets +1 b-dice for each matching grunt next to it. Freakin’ awesome!
- Coordinate – Basically free movement for nearby units (up to 2 spaces) with the same name as this one. Another boost for brawl but one of the worst worded abilities I’ve seen. (not counting satellite support which was screwed up)
- Countermeasures – A hoser for actions. Nice, that helps bring some balance to the game.
- Drain Life – Keeps monsters from healing. I wonder how this will affect morphers.
- Fireproof – Now everyone can stop complaining about radiation figures as other figs can ignore hazards.
- Hasten – Literally reads “This unit gains +1 speed”. This has to be a monster ability that’s “shared out” (red or blue) like Sky Sentinal’s “Wing Leader”. You know, this ability on Rakadon as a “blue” would have helped improve him a lot.
- Holy Ground – Building ability that prevents healing. Why? I mean, why would holy ground prevent healing? I thought that’s where you went to heal.
- Lift – Temporary flight to adjacent allied units. Again, neat idea but seems like rule headaches a’ coming.
- Power Tap – The reverse of amplify, you drain +1 p-dice if you’re sitting on a negative zone. The only catch is that your opponent needs to have 5 or more p-dice. How does the timing work? If I control a building with media hub and several units with power tap, do you subtract all at once? Or 1 at a time until the PT abilities no longer trigger?
- Quick – Free movement if this fig matches your monster’s faction. The fact that they said fig makes me wonder if a monster might have it (does that mean they always move free?). Poor Carnidons. This ability would have made them almost playable. I hope we never see this ability on a blast unit as brawling armies desperately need it just to catch up.
- Smoke Screen – +1 def for units against blast attacks. Very much needed for brawlers, especially since it will stack with cover and fore field (giving you +3 against blast).
- Super Swat – I mostly just want to point out that this ability affects swat power attacks and the fling ability. Which kind of makes you sad that Super Strength doesn’t benefit toss or beat back.
- Tenacious – Immune to hazards. Wow. It joins resilience and armored on the defense side of things and as abilities we probably won’t see combined with super damage often.
I did notice a few more typos in these listed but here’s hoping it all gets straightened out before sent to print. Still, I love the fact that apparently PP will expand on their existing pool of features without introducing too many new mechanics. This is a great time to get into the game. If you’re not playing, what are you waiting for??? Let’s go smash downtown!