by Kenneth Gustafson

The Upstate NY area had its final launch event this Sunday, with a shiny new Mega Cthugrosh as its prize. I’ve been looking forward to the chance to play in another event for a few weeks, and there was more competition available this time to boot.

One thing that Chuck, the store employee running the tournament, had an issuCthugrosh - Buy Now - Covenant TCGe with was that he had just sold out of Starter Boxes, so the event was a little building-light. However, two unit boosters and a monster booster later each and we were all ready to go. The five of us at the table opened up our monster boxes, and instantly cursing was heard from Robert, one of the new players. He had drawn Deimos-9, and only one Hunter and Saucer to go with his Martian death walker. Tom and Brian, the other two players who had yet to enjoy a game of Monsterpocalypse, drew Sky Sentinel and Cthugrosh respectively. Ken, the second-place finisher at the last Launch Event, smiled as he looked into his monster pack, and drew out a shiny new Gorghadra. ‘Uh-oh’, I thought as I opened my own monster booster, and returned Ken’s grin with a laugh of my own, just before I pulled Terra Khan in all of his glorious might out of the box.

On the plus side, Chuck had enough Starter Box dice and maps available that everyone was able to play. He had everyone at the tables match up as best as possible, moving us around as we won or lost our games. I ended up matched up against Robert for my first match, and both of us prepared our units for battle. What resulted was perhaps the least Kaiju movie-like match ever, as both of us played a long game of keep-away with our monsters, a tactic that played to Terra Khan’s advantage thanks to his longer range over Deimos-9. We kept shooting at each other’s monsters, with Terra Khan actually hitting twice (for the game winner), while keeping Deimos-9 just out of reach. This kept up until there were about 15 minutes left in the round, at which point I tried to have Terra Khan knock down one of the buildings in the center for a little energy. Oddly enough, not only did the building not go down, but I failed to roll a single strike. Fortunately for me, Rob tried having his Deimos-9 chase me around the buildings. At that point last turn was called, and Terra Khan continued to dance around the buildings, leaving Deimos-9 sucking his dust. Meanwhile, during the entire game, we had a never-ending battle between a mix of Squixii, G-Tanks, his Hunter, and my Raptix engaged in a mosh pit at the center of the board, which is where most of the real action in the game occurred. This racked up a lot of sound and fury, signifying both of our combined inability to rack up enough power dice to cause any real carnage.

Meanwhile, on the other table Ken and Brian set up for their game, plopping most of the buildings down along the sides of their board. Brian gained an early advantage in P-Dice in this match, however to do so he brawled a nearby High Rise for energy. This opened up the opportunity Ken had been looking for. Stepping into the flames himself, Gorghadra proceeded to pick up Cthugrosh by the… whatever those are, causing a high-pitched squeal to erupt from the Cthuloid before tossing him over a few spaces, right into the flames Cthugrosh started when he destroyed the building. With Ken’s Explodohawks providing some extra damage and Brian’s Cthugrosh and Taskmaster making frequent use of Fling, in the end the extra point of damage Cthugrosh took from his being thrown early cost Brian the game, sealing the game by a single point.

After the first round, we all took a short break before meeting Terra Khan - View Miniature - Buy Now - Covenant TCGour next opponents. I drew Brian for my next match, which lasted until three minutes until the end of the round. Both sides had few of the units from their monster’s Agenda, so spawning costs slowed the game down on both sides for most of the match, a fact that allowed Terra Khan an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, which allowed me to counter Brian’s inventive uses of Fling with both Cthugrosh and his Taskmaster. In the end, I stayed alive and in good health long enough to avenge the loss of my Hyper form, KO’ing Brian’s Cthugrosh just a few minutes before Final Turn was called. In truth, though, the match was much closer than what my monster’s health indicated. If Brian had drawn more Lords of Cthul units, he could have easily swung the match his way.

On the other table, Ken drew Tom, who had just come from a win of his own… Sky Sentinel had a field day in what could only be considered a close-up brawl, enabling his Rocket Chopper to be a constant menace by flying in between treetops while the mechanical monstrosity closed in to lay a beating on Gorghadra. Ken did not play as aggressively as he did in his other matches that day. That enabled Tom to have his Sky Sentinal smash Gorghadra through a building and out of his Alpha form just as time was called on the round, perhaps the best-timed move of the day. If Ken had been able to play one more turn, he would have been able to finish the job on Sky Sentinel’s Alpha form for a draw.

For Tom’s good luck with the timing, he drew me for the final round, perhaps not the best match possible. Tom was at a disadvantage, since most of his units were either flying or slow, which hurt him in the early going. Attempting to have Sky Sentinel walk up to Terra Khan while he was right next to two buildings was not a good move either, because the two turns after that, Terra Khan smashed him through first two buildings (to knock him into his Hyper form), and then into another building and blazing conflagration. A few turns after that the match was over, Terra Khan roared triumphant on the city block he had just demolished, and I attempted to make my best giant lizard impersonation.

In what turned out to be the last match to finish of the day, Ken had his Gorghadra throw Robert’s Deimos 9 into anything available, and Rob obliged, taking a page out of Ken’s book and having his tentacled space walker smash the intergalactic dining critic into the resulting inferno. However, when time was called the additional point of damage caused by the one building Deimos 9 hit so well with its torso/head/largest appendage ended up being just enough to pop him out of Alpha mode and propelled Ken to his second win.

At the end of the day, Ken had won second place, while Tom managed to draw a respectable third. Robert ended up winning the Best Sportsmanship prize. I ended up winning the event, a shiny, slimy new Mega Cthugrosh, and the Worst Giant Monster Impersonation prize.

Again, I would like to thank Chuck and everyone at Play the Game Read the Story for providing such a fun time for all of us and having enough gear available to play with. The event was a blast, and I can not wait for the first main event.