Cloud Gate Power ZoneChicago’s Downtown ,”Beatdown”, has seen more monster battles then any other city, in fact more then all the other cities combined.  G.U.A.R.D has set up bases here, but have been ousted by Fiendish Cults, who in turn have been sent packing by radical Terrasuar forces.  It seems that just about every time the down town gets rebuilt some new monster comes in and rampages it down.  Alderman Robert Portillo has pulled together the, “Chicago 7″, to keep the city alive.  These seven Alderman have leveraged their distracts resources to keep the down town alive.  To Chicagos’s great surprise the steady influx of monsters has caused a bit of a tourist boon for the city.  O’Hare Airport is barely able to keep up with the flood of curios people hoping to get there chance to see one of these giant monsters in action.

Red Side Vs Blue Side

This map isn’t completely symmetrical, but because of the way the foundations are laid out it can be misleading.  Because there are so many little differences, I’m going to break down this map a little bit more then some of the others.  My normal sections are going to be further broken down into red and blue versions.

Red Side – Minions:

Terrains

Pesky Rough Terrain

Both sides have a very balanced layout when it comes to spawn zone placements.  The far West side spawn zone is the furthest back for the red player at A3.  A unit with 6 speed can get to the power zone at C8, and 7 speed to get to the negative zone at C9.  The East side spawn zone at Q5 can reach the negative zone at O9 with a speed of 6 and get to the negative zone if they have a speed of 7.  The Spawn zone at F4 can reach the neutral spawn zone directly south if they have a speed of 6.  While the spawn zones at I6 and L4 can both reach the neutral spawn zone at L8 with only a speed of 4.  I’ve placed red dice on impassable terrain, blue dice on rough terrain, and white dice on trees.  The Red side has 1 impassable spot, 6 rough terrain spots, and 7 spots with trees.  Having played on this map a lot of times I found the rough terrain at D7 to cause me trouble sometimes.  I didn’t highlight M8 or N7, but they also can be difficult for units without any movement options.  The red side has a spot where it can secure 3 buildings with 4 units that the blue side doesn’t.  If you place units at E4, F4, F5, and G3 you’ll secure 3 buildings.

Blue Side – Minions:

Blue side has very similar capabilities as red, but there are subtle differences that makes me think that the Red side has the advantage when it comes to units.  A unit with speed 6 at the West side spawn zone at A13 can reach the power zone at C8, and it only needs speed 5 to get to the negative zone at C9.  A unit spawned at Q15 would need a 7 to get to the power zone at O10 unless they had a movement ability.  The tree at P10 impedes the blue players movement to that spot making it a little easier for the red player to get there.  That bit of rough terrain at E13 gets in the way of units moving off of your spawn zone at A13.  Units without any movement abilities are hampered by it.  Over all I would give the Red Side the advantage when it comes to units.

Pockets & Lanes:

The Red side has 3 nice fully protected building pockets, as shown by the placement of Mucustos.  The Pocket at A8 can also be used by the Blue player, but It’s closer to the Red Starting zone by 1 space.  The natural pockets for the Red player is primarily in the North and West sides of the map.  The Foundation at B5 is a important foundation if you want to either keep your pockets or open up a lane to try and move south.  Keep this in mind during building placement.  The East side of the map has a bit more room to maneuver, but it’s also a lot more exposed, so you have to be careful with monster placement.  This map has only 1 foundation that doesn’t have another foundation adjacent to it. so power attacks can rack up a lot of damage.  If you are a Pedestrian monster then the foundation at M9 is critical if you start on the East side.  Place a building that doesn’t leave a hazard so that you can create a lane going south.  Pedestrian monsters will have a hard time moving from side to side along the north side without knocking down some of their own foundations, making initial monster placement very important.

Pockets & Lanes:

The blue player also has 3 pockets, but unlike the red player they are a little more spread out as shown by the placement of Incinerus.  Any of these pockets can be used by either monster but I split them based on proximity to starting monster placements.  If you are playing a Pedestrian monster then the East side is a better starting spot.  The foundation at M9 is also very important to the blue player as it’s a key foundation for two pockets, or it can open up a lane going north.  If the Blue players monster has a Movement ability then placing a high defense building there could be a good move to slow down the enemy monster from advancing.  If the Blue player starts their monster on the West side, then they can take a few steps rampage north.  If they start their rampage at C13 and they have 7 speed, then they could completely take out the Red Players pockets in one go.  If they have super rampage then they would also be full up on P dice.  If the rampage is successful, then the ending position is relatively safe.  If they end there move at C6 then they can’t be body slammed into any buildings, and it would take 5 power dice to either throw or smash you into a building at I7.  If this is something your thinking about then try to place low defense buildings along the way.

Monsters Vs Morphers:

The layout says a lot when it comes to starting Morpher placements.  The Red side has fewer spots that don’t help secure, an equal number of single secures, and one more double secure.  Because of the foundation layout the Red side has an advantage when it comes to Morpher placement.  The foundation at G4 is a key foundation, so putting something like the Newspaper office for Intel will give a big boost in A dice efficiency to start off with.  Morphers can use all of the standard monster pockets, and there’s a few spots that only Morphers can get.  The center of the Death Blossom at I9 is a safe spot.  There’s a narrow street that runs south on the West side that makes for a good lane for Morphers and units.  There isn’t enough water on the map to do the manly Morpher retreat, and there aren’t any corner foundations to worry about.

Monsters Vs Morpher:

The starting Morpher placements on the Blue side are a little more exposed then on the red side.  There’s a little more safety on the red side, so you have to be more careful when starting out.  Because of the layout of the Foundations even if the opponent places aggressively on your side of the map, you can still secure some key spots. With so many foundations Pedestrian monsters have to worry about hazards, so when your placing your buildings you want to place some buildings so that when they are destroyed they won’t leave a hazard to block your way.

Survey Says

I think the Red side has more of an advantage for Morphers then the Blue side.  In general it gives them more options to get that fast start that makes them so deadly.  It also favors securing multiple buildings with your units.  The Blue side has the edge for starting monsters who like to rampage like Anglax.  The Blue side Pockets are a little more evenly spread out so you can’t take them out with one shot like you can to the Red side.  I think it’s a draw when it comes to who can best use this map.  Pedestrian monsters are the ones that are going to have the hardest time here.