I’ve been playing Monsterpocalypse on vassal a lot recently and happened to have lost a game to Zach, so allow me a moment to pontificate on the game.
When considering what rank to grade a monster, I examine several factors:
- What do they need to work effectively?
- How likely will 1 occur in a game?
- What options does my opponent have to prevent 1?
- What happens if my monster misses.
The phrase that Monpoc is “just a dice game” is partially true. Since all 3 dice in the game have at least one blank side there is always a chance you can miss. Even if you’re aiming for a 1, it is possible for you to miss.
Also, there are 2 terms I need to clarify: Build plan and Game plan.
Build plan is how you build your city & army. Some counters you can only use during your build plan. Example: The only true counter to a heavy blast monster is the ability cloak. If you don’t put cloak in your army, you won’t be able to use it during the game.
Game plan is (obviously) how you play in game, regardless of map, army, etc. Example: A monster dependent on power attacks anyone can screen against.
A monster that relies heavily on you having a good build plan gets a high rank for 2. Likewise, a monster for whom your opponent has the best options during the build plan but not game plan also gets a high rank under 3. On the opposite side, monsters which require top notch playing or have easy access prevention, get lower ranks.
A rank – These are the monsters which, once the army is assembled and the city laid, have a good chance for victory. Their effectiveness is highly likely to occur and the only (or best) option your opponent has to fight it is having built an army designed to. For them, #4 is like a ‘pause’: they won’t lose much ground in the race to victory. Example: Mega Zor-Maxim. With weapon master and beat back, he has a high chance of doing 3 damage with each attack. Two attacks will kill most monster forms. Add in the fact that this damage comes from ranged attacks, and even a miss only delays MZM’s end goal by one turn.
B rank – These monsters are most effective at hindering your opponent with a 50/50 chance of achieving their max effectiveness. #3 is somewhat dependent on your enemy’s build plan but they still have options from their game plan. A miss for them is like one step back. Victory can be achieved, but each subsequent miss compounds the challenge. Almost any monster with resilience falls under this category. Resilience protects against super damage, which means if you face an opponent relying upon it to win the health race, you have an advantage. However, if you face an opponent that doesn’t rely on it, one of your key victory components is useless.
C rank – It’s not that C monsters are bad, but they can never ever miss, it’s like losing two steps in the race. Almost every army fielded will open up game plan options for #3. As well as when considering #2, they’re effectiveness will either be difficult to pull off or easily disrupted by the opponent. Examples would include many monsters that lean heavily on power attacks. Such can be screened against, leaving only ‘swat’ as an option to them (and it is usually much less effective than the other power attacks).
F rank – Off the top of my head, I don’t think the game currently has an F rank monster, but these are the monsters which depend on luck for victory. If getting the wrong map, or seeing a specific building hit the field ends the game before it begins, you’re dealing with an F rank.
The best part about the game is that the ranks are very fluid. When Monsterpocalypse first came out, Sky Sentinel was undoubtedly a C rank monster. However, the release of G-1 strike fighters bumped him up to an A rank. So even if your current favorite monster is a low ranking one, don’t despair. By next set he/she could be looking at a whole new rank!
(feel free to post monsters below and discuss what you think their rank should be)