MonCon 2010

On May 21st, 2010, Monsterpocalypse players from across the world will gather to test their body-slamming, monster-smashing skills against one another. At the end of this event there will be one player standing who will be crowned the world’s next Monsterpocalypse Master. The event will be so Monstrous that we could only give it one name: MonCon (guess what it stands for)

“Did he say master’s? Is Team Covenant hosting a master’s event?”

Why yes, yes I did. We are going to be hosting the world’s first master’s level event after the release of Monsterpocalypse Series 5: Big in Japan.

Alright, slow down. Let’s take some deep breaths. By now I’m sure that there are countless questions swarming around in that large, monster-sized brain you’ve developed over the course of playing Monsterpocalypse. Let’s start with some basics.

How: The Story

When I went out to San Diego to play in the Monsterpocapalooza release event, I had several interesting conversations during my ice cream contest with DC. One of these was with Will Shick about the possibility of us hosting the most epic of Monsterpocalypse events. Of course, as the marketing guy, having someone come to you asking to market for you… well you can imagine he was all game.

Over the following three months or so, we worked furiously to design the most epic event we could. Some of the obvious inclusions would be panel discussions with Privateer and Team Covenant members, a Master’s event with prizing like you’ve never dreamed you’d see at a Monsterpocalypse event, all kinds of contests and side events, and of course all the free goods we can fit into your suit cases.

We will be posting updates with more information on a weekly basis, in our podcast, in our newsletter, etc.


So when can you officially start registering for this event? How about right now, right here. Registration is going to be $30 until February 26th and at that point the price will go up to $40. Anyone who registers at the $30 rate will also get a few bonuses and special privileges at MonCon. We won’t be revealing these bonuses and privileges just yet, but even without the $10 savings it will be well worth registering early.

Where: The Host

We’re trying to break boundaries here. With these conventions and tournaments, you are almost always flying to California or the east coast. A lot of players can’t afford that, and a lot of folks in the midwest are sad to see that no action ever comes their way. Let’s change that.

MonCon will be located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Not only is Tulsa almost directly in the middle of the country, it is also one of the cheapest places to fly into, and one of the cheapest places to live. For those of you who have never visited Oklahoma, you will not be ferried to your hotel on horseback, get delayed by a cattle run, or have to hide from a dust storm. Oklahoma is a beautiful state, and Tulsa, specifically, is an extremely nice city.

We will be hosting the event at the Hampton Inn in South Tulsa, Oklahoma. After talking with countless hotels in the area, we settled on the Hampton for several benefits that you should appreciate:

– Free Wired and Wireless Internet
– Free Full Breakfast
– Walking distance to countless restaurants, shops, bars, and a movie theater (particularly for those who
bring a spouse or family who might not be as interested in Cthugrosh as you are)
– Within driving distance to the nicest areas in Tulsa
– Located in one of the nicest and safest areas in Tulsa
– Offering a fantastic group rate (group code emailed to you after registration) at $85 a night
– Classy place

Once you register, you will get an email with instructions on how to book your hotel. We know that $85 is not doable for some of you  (I know that everytime Steven and I traveled for a tournament we had to scrape together all the money we could just for gas), especially if you’re going solo, so we’ve set up a system that should help. You can go here to find people interested in sharing hotel rooms, car space, etc. to cut costs. The group rate applies to rooms with up to 4 people, so if you can find others to book with then you can significantly lower the cost of the event ($20-$25 a night).

UPDATE: You can go here to find out how to book your hotel room.

What: The Schedule

We are currently still editing/revising/constructing the schedule, but the event will play out something this:

Friday: Convention will begin around 1 p.m. on Friday with various events, contests, panels, dinner, etc. There will be events for people who are wanting to practice for the Master’s, looking for interesting formats, etc. (Two-Monster tourney, Draft/Sealed, etc.)

Saturday: The Master’s event will start in the morning and run throughout the day. During the top cut rounds, there will be lots of events for everyone else to participate in. Expect lunch and dinner breaks where all attendees (along with Privateer and Covenant staff) can go hangout over some grub.

Sunday: Sunday morning will be an awards ceremony where we celebrate the achievements of everyone at the event (think “most creative army”, “best paint job”, “worst luck”, etc). After the ceremony there will be random events to finish out the convention.

And perhaps most importantly, we’re planning on kaiju movies and popcorn going 24/7. Can somebody say Gamera?!

Why: The Inspiration

This has been a dream of ours for a long time. The long-term goal for Covenant, as those of you who have read our mission statement, is to “rebirth” gaming (interesting image that creates, no?). We want to take things to the next level. We want to provide an opportunity for all players of Monsterpocalypse to come together, test their skills, have a blast, and become an even stronger community than we already are. There’s just nothing like bonding over little monsters – and we think that should be celebrated in a big way.

I cannot put into words the excitement I have about this event. As usual, all of you out there will come together to make something that we put together extra special. There is no way to thank all of you enough for your support, but events like this are our attempt to repay the favor. If you have any questions or ideas be sure to let us know.


  1. “It’s a Master’s. One monster. One list. One player.”

    Well, I think there have been two Master’s events and at least one used more than one monster. So this might be overstating the case. Are you saying winning in a multi-list format is less valid?

    In HeroClix you didn’t win the big events unless you got through sealed play first. I didn’t like that. It left too many good players in the cold due to a bad pull.

    I like Privateer’s policy. They do it in Warmachine/Hordes and it keeps people from relying on one list. Rewards more flexible players.

    I agree the Meta game is more diverse. But I like seeing players out of their comfort zone. Sure, there will be diversity of monsters, but I’m looking forward to Adepticon and seeing what the finalists will run when they have to have three lists. It opens peoples eyes to what other monsters can be effective.

    My players weren’t looking at Glass units until I ran an event that required them. Now they all use them a lot more. If top players who us how to use multiple monsters we all benefit.

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  2. I think that the type of player who would win a two list championships is different than one who would win a one list championship. Which is better? I can’t say honestly.

    Here is what I don’t like about a two list event. If my absolute best monster is King Kondo and my second best is Sky Sentinel, who do I play on day 1? There are several factors to consider. First, what is everyone else going to be using? If they are using MZM, I might consider using Kondo day 1. So let’s say I do and also make it to day 2. Now you’ve got someone in the top 8 not running at 100%. So let’s say I chose Sky Sentinel on day 1. Well now my odds of going top cut lowered because I”m using my secondary list in hopes of making it to day two with my best list…

    While this might indeed reward the player who is best at running two monsters, it doesn’t necessarily choose the player that is best. By saying that I can play two lists better than anyone else does not show that I have complete mastery over the game. I personally feel that if you can make it through the long line of rounds we are going to have combined with the larger top cut format, you will indeed be the best player with the best list at the event.

    When building an army for this list, you know EVERYONE is going to be running the monster they think can take it all, all the way through. So now we get to see who was best at picking apart the global meta-game representative at MonCon. We also get to see which monster could stand up against all the others in a day filled with destruction. And finally, we get to see the one player who was able to make it through everyone else to stand victorious.

    If I’m going to play against T.J. or Josh in either part of the tournament, I want them to have their favorite list. When I beat them, I want them to not have anything to say but good game. No excuses.


  3. I’ll be curious to see the format and what larger top cut format means. If you are making it double elimination, I think your one list supposition holds better.

    A bad match-up is gonna screw up anyone’s tournament no matter if it’s one list, two list, red list, blue list. Yes, a flexible list is better. But there is a bad match up for just about any monster or list out there. I think multi-list reduces that risk. And it’s a fun test. Can I win with my B-List to get to my A-List or do you run your A-List to have a better chance of seeing the next round.

    I’d like to hear from any Top Eight players from GenCon, Templecon, or another Masters to see what they did.

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  4. Some contests, tools matter.

    By that, I mean a good player using Armodax (sorry, Theorist) will most likely lose to a good player using any of the top tier monsters. Or a good player using a poorly balanced force and city, on their opponent’s map, will likely lose.

    I think both formats are valid tests of a master’s mettle. But if you really want to determine who’s on top, you need to standardize things somewhat. My wife noticed during the Olympics that many of the events appeared to be requiring that all competitors use the same equipment. In that case, you knew it wasn’t the equipment, but the talent and ability, determining the winner.

    You could do that with Monpoc, creating 2 lists, and having opponents play each one, then switch sides and play again. They wouldn’t even have to be good lists, or balanced.

    I wouldn’t say such a format would be as fun as a single player created list, or player created multiple lists, but it would be a better determinant of the truly best player. PP has stated that not all monsters are created equal. And we know that not all collections offer the same choices. I want to play with 5 MT. Terras, but aside from Vassal, until I can acquire my 5th one, I won’t be able to in actual play (yes, I know were I to attend, someone would lend me one, Stop ruining my point with your logic!).

    I’ve no doubt that the winner of Moncon will have truly earned their Masters title, no less than prior Masters did. But I don’t think the format lends itself to declaring a “best” player of the event.

  5. There is the old saying attributed to Bobby Knight talking to Lou Henson when he was coaching Illinois that he could, “take his and beat yours and then take yours and beat his.” He wasn’t concerned about the team. He just knew how to coach.

    That could be a WICKED format: Bring an army you have to play against each round. Whatever list you bring will be played by your OPPONENT. It has to have the minimum building and unit selection. And no more than some limited number of out of faction figures. That would be sick.

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  6. That would fix the problem of how to come up with the lists. And keep people from getting bored playing the same 2 lists over and over again. Plus I think it’s a better showing of mastery over the game, not just mastery over a list. Both are impressive achievements.

    Not to mention the satisfaction of beating an opponent with his own force…

  7. It would be interesting… more interesting, in my opinion, would be a “random” format. For instance, play your opponent’s army. Play the army of the person to your left. Play the army you brought. etc. Determined each round by a random number generator and steadily eliminated round after round. Whoever has the most wins when it’s all said and done is the champion. 🙂

  8. Zach (or other Team C guys) – we’re hammering out the details up here in Chicago to get a group together for the trip. The biggest issue is how much time off work people are taking (Thursday, or just Friday and showing up for Saturday’s events), or if I’m going to pull my son out of school 1-2 days so he can join us.

    I’m sure you aren’t ready to post publicly what’s going on, so could someone email me with just a rough idea of what the plans are for Friday? Just want to make sure there is enough stuff going on to determine when we should show up. Thanks.


  9. Itinerary is almost hammered out.

    We’ll get it available publicly as soon as possible. Waiting to hear back on a few specifics.

    Hope to see you there!

  10. I definitely played my A-list the first day at Masters. There was hardly any doubt in my mind that Mega Zor-Maxim would take me to day two.

    Day two was the real challenge. I felt like everyone would be busting out their best and I felt like I’d probably be facing at least one other Mega Maxim’s (turned out, I was right. Faced 2!)

    I went in with a dark horse, Zor-Macros, who I’d had a lot of experience with, but was not as confident using. But things worked out for me, because I had been training with Macros against Maxims so I was ready for them.

    I actually favor the two list format myself, because it stops anyone for going for an easy button like Mega Max the entire tournament, thus adding to the overall variety of lists you’re likely to see.

    I’m still stoked about Moncon though, don’t get me wrong, and now I’ve got to wonder what I’d have chosen if Gencon had only been a single-list format… Not really sure, to tell you the truth.

  11. I don’t know if this has been mentioned already, but I’d like to maybe even see a four-player formatted tournament. In other words, a tournament of four-player free-for-alls. That would be wild.

    A few select maps could be used (like Downtown Beatdown, Grapple in the Garden), the players could keep track of damage dealt each game, and the player with the most damage dealt at the end would be the tourney champ.

    I’d love to see this. It would be an insanely new spin on the game.

  12. I feel like the difference now is that there isn’t really an ‘easy button’ anymore. MZM used to be tops, but now I don’t think he is. I don’t think any one monster is tops any more. There are all kinds of viable options.

  13. That’s easy. Leave the units out.

    Play a modified Tag Team format. Each player uses 10 action dice per initiative. You can hold dice back after a turn. If you step, advance, step, use an action and spend the rest of your dice, then you are at the mercy of anyone who kept some dice back. Roll for initiative after each Turn. We kept the same turn order, but my suggestion is to try it with turn order by rolled initiative. Shakes things up better. We used 4 sided dice.

    We tried it during one my game nights with just grounded monsters (no flight, jump, burrow, or anything) it was a blast. There were two experienced MonPoc Players and two newbs. It came down to the final attacks, like a proper MonPoc game should.

    Oh yeah, I was going to write that scenario up for the site, wasn’t I?

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  14. Taken me a little while to get back to this… but yeah…

    Actually, that sounds like a cool idea Chivenger, but what we’ve done so far (and it’s worked pretty well) is that we’ve chosen maps where monsters start in the corners.

    Each monster has two set spawn points that only that monster can use, and they are always the spawn points closest to it and of matching color to it’s starting point.

    Now, you’ll probably notice however, that most maps have 5 or 6 spawn points, and that’s where the next bit of house-ruling comes in.

    What we did for the final spawn points is allow any player of the coressponding color to use the central spawn points, but also, you could only ever spawn 3 units a turn, even on a map with 6 spawn points per side.

    Make sense?

    That way, each player can still have units and capture buildings, but they capture buildings at a much slower rate.

    On another note, this format promotes use of lots and lots of elite units and 3 A-die attack units because you end up needing to use 10 A-die on half the units you’d be spawning in a regular game.

    This adds up to all kinds of fun and crazy list builds.

  15. Whatever the formats, hopefully everything will be ironed out with plenty of time for people to practice should we play anything with unusual rules like the above. I think it’d be fun, but I’d want to practice before jumping in.

  16. I wonder what effect the recent news of BiJ not coming out until May will have on the Masters at MonCon. I was considering the use of one of the BiJ monsters but now that my playtesting time is shortened I just don’t know. At best BiJ will be released on May 5th or 6th. That leaves just 2 weeks of playtesting. Any thoughts?

  17. This is something of a disaster in my mind. I was extremely ready for BiJ… now this.

    I appreciate all that PP does for their community but things like this are somewhat inexcusable to me.

    I trust they will get their stuff squared away for future releases.

  18. Unexpected production delays. There’s absolutely nothing PP can do about that.

    I think it will make MonCon even more interesting – it will be hard to be ready for everything…

  19. I feel more sorry for Privateer than I do for the players.

    Yeah, it’s frustrating, but they’re just trying to get us the goods and most people are just upset about it. I know if it were me, I’d be freaking out about the delay, so I imagine they’re none too happy over there.

    As to MonCon. It’ll make things interesting, but hopefully everything will have been fully spoiled before then and people will have had time to actually get their product so that they at least have their BiJ stuff with them before they leave for the show. Though I’m sure any last-minute changes can be aided by stuff that will be available to buy on-site.

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  20. Production delays happen. Heck, delays happen all the time. Disaster? I’m curious, in what way? Assuming there’s no push-back, BiJ will have over 2 weeks of street time before Moncon. While that may not leave time for a lot of games, it’s more than enough time to get used to whatever BiJ monster you were considering running at Moncon, and the new units.

    And if BiJ gets pushed back more? So what. Was BiJ the draw to Moncon, or was it a chance to engage in the first Monpoc only con? BiJ was like icing. The cake’s still really darn good.

    I’ve seen one PG suggest that this might cost him players. I don’t see how. New product is still coming, just not as soon as we’d hoped. Are there really players that are mostly into the game for new product, and delay of a few weeks is enough to burn them on the game?

  21. How do you guys know its going to be released so early in May? I’m just curious because I didn’t see anything to the effect of saying when it would be released in May

  22. I finished my last bit of accommodations booking for MonCon…registration, plane tickets, hotel….everything is in place. Be seeing y’all in May!

  23. Very exciting indeed.

    Jeremy and I were in the same boat as Kevin when it came to possibly using an S5 monster at the con though. Still, I imagine we’ll have at least 1 week to practice before we go, so that’s still enough time to get some block-party Monsterpocalypse playtesting in.

    No tellin’ what we might bring to the table come the Master’s.

  24. Zach & Co. whats the timeline for announcing the Friday event formats? Just curious, as we’re going to start playtesting this weekend and want to have an idea of what to bring. Thanks.

  25. I was wondering again about the tournament formats for Friday.

    First off – the double-monster tournament. Zach and Steven, you mentioned in the podcast last week that the tournament will allow for non-adjacent agendas on the wheel to team up. My question is this –

    Does that mean the tournament will be Frankenstein?

    If so, how much Franky are we dealing with here? Will every faction and agenda count as every other faction and agenda for the purposes of red and blue abilities, faction/agenda only abiilities, etc?

    So, will, say, Mega Gorghadra be able to use a Meat Slave to heal?

    I’m wondering, since that would make it really interesting.

    Also, secondly, here’s another question for the Double Monster Tournament. I’ve got some experience with double monster formats, and when playing with two monsters a side, games tend to take longer. Will the Double Monster Tournament have games lasting more than an hour to compensate?

    I’d highly recommend more time for the DM format, but I’d also like to hear from anyone who went to Adepticon – how much time was given for double monster games?

  26. The two-monster format will be Open, but not Frankenstein. Red and Blue abilities will still only work within Agenda. Xaxor can buff all Destroyers, but would not buff Fiends or Protectors. Spawn tax must be paid on any unit from an agenda that you are not representing with one of your monsters. If I’m running Mega Pteradax and Cyber Khan, any unit that isn’t Radical or Collaborator will cost +1 to spawn.

    The tourney will be from 2-6PM, with however many rounds it takes to crown a champion =) It’ll be a laid back evening so we can extend the tournament if the participants want to and a winner hasn’t been decided. There could be 4 people playing, or there could be 20. The times will adjust accordingly!

  27. Heh, heh, heh.

    I hear you loud and clear.

    Bummer though, Jeremy really wanted to try out this one combo we had to get -4 Def on a model. Let’s see… Armor Piercing, Sniper, Spotter, Weaken – a Mega Phobos, Ultra Magna list.

    Aw yeah. It would have been hilarious to see a pack of units making individual attacks against a Def 1 Gorghadra…

    But I guess I’ll find some way to survive.

  28. At Adepticon we were on round timers. Five minutes a turn for single monster and seven for two monster. Of the three days of events, only a few matches went to time. I think it was roughly an hour for single monster and an hour fifteen for two monster. But DC was keeping the clock. It also help to have a non specific time limit. It encourages aggressive play. The turn clocks also help keep the game moving. Remembering to reset them is the big problem there.

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  29. So does anyone know if you can get your money back? My house and most of my home town was recently flooded (TN) and I’m not sure now if we’re going to have the money to go now.