Profile photo of Philip Rowland By Philip Rowland On May 31, 2012 Posted In Other

Am I (in) Control?

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May 31, 2012

Jugglervr posted a very interesting blog yesterday about Control vs Beatdown and how it relates to Monsterpocalypse.  Really, what his post did for me, more than opening a new line of thought, was expand on some ideas that have been bouncing around in my head for a while now.  My philosophy of play, by which I mean my overall strategy, turn-to-turn tactics, and short/long term goals in-game, has been in a state of flux.

My wife and I recently watched the movie Moneyball.  Even if you care nothing for baseball, the movie tells a very interesting story about shaking up the preconceived notions of how the game really works.  It’s hard to describe succinctly, but for me this opened a new line of thought on MonPoc.  How do you really win games of Monsterpocalypse?

Who am I?

The obvious answer is by killing the enemy monster, but how do you do that?  Dealing damage, of course.  However there’s a deeper level here: You have to deal damage without taking it yourself.  The theory I started toying with is that the key to winning every game of Monsterpocalypse is board control, because if you control the board, you control the game.  I convinced myself that if I could control the board, stop my opponent from having units in any sort of useful position, destroying their base and their support, and prevent any coordinated assaults, then I could waltz my way to victory at my own pace.  In essence, I fell in love with the idea that control wins.  It’s only after reading Jugglervr’s post (and losing pretty badly in an attempt at testing the theory) that I see that I’ve been missing half of the picture.

Control is definitely viable.  I expect to see a handful of “control” lists at MonCon next week, particularly coming from Lords of Cthul and possibly from the Protector and Collaborator agendas.  However, I don’t think my preferred faction can play that way, so I’m left wondering, what am I?  Of course, I’m referring to the faction and more specifically the monster and list I’m going to run.  So to rephrase, what is Anglax?  What are the Invaders?

I wish I could put my monster into a metaphorical box, but the beauty of MonPoc is that all of these monsters can do everything to some degree.  Alpha and Ultra Anglax can play control by running the unit-general angle, spamming  units and depending on Leach and Command to keep her safe.  On the flip side, she can go aggressive with the Mega or taking advantage of her fantastic power stat and Command to make big plays at a key moment.  The Invaders have Mire, Power Gorge in spades, and all sorts of mobility tricks which could be thought of as control, but at the same time they have Explosion with Tow, Armor Piercing, and enough boost dice to hit anything they really want to target so they can be aggressive just as easily.

At the end of all of this, I’ve not come to any new revelations about MonPoc or my figures.  I’m sure that my best bet is to “go with the flow” and learn to better recognize when I should be playing for control and when I should be aggressive.  It seems like such a basic idea, now that I’ve written it, but in essence that’s what separates the Masters from the rest of us regular players.  They knew when to go for broke and when to wait it out.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I may go back and watch some old commentaries on top tables with these “new” ideas in mind.

  1. On teleporters, I’d say Anglax is a pretty good control monster. You dictate where the fight happens, and how big the exchanges are (mostly thanks to COMMAND) when they happen. Cheap access to TOW gives you a natural numbers-game and teleporter control advantage. Lastly you have almost no ability to play the aggro role with Anglax against a foe that won’t step out to meet you, leaving ONLY the control role to play.

    Off teleporters, I worry about Anglax. If you can pull the enemy monster to you, you get to play control. But if you can’t, you can’t really play control OR aggro too well. You have to keep trying to pull. Makes me wish she at least had CRUNCH(brawl) or something.

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  2. You know, Invaders are certainly built for both aggro and control, but they don’t do either of them as well as other forces might. That being said, they have ALL the tools to get any job done; their strength lies in their versatility. Though slow, they can easily adapt. They are the trickiest units too, doing all kinds of mad stuff every turn.

    It’s a little hard for Anglax to do both… Yes, she is more prone to “control” but can still do some awesome aggressive things like Rampage, and her Mega is more suited to getting there. Overall though, she lacks that 2-damage ability and a movement ability, so she’s limited much more than say, Quantum Deimos-9, Ultra Tharsis, or even Mega Crusty.

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    1. It’s funny, because the more I look at the Triton monsters, the more I see Anglax as the bridge between the two types of monsters. I see her as less of a direct aggression monster than Kraken or Crustaceor, but also less dependent on being in control than Leviathron. A 2-damage option would put her in the top tiers easily, in my opinion. Ultimately, I think Anglax is just one piece shy of being “complete.” It seems like she just needs that one magic unit or the installation to suddenly become amazing.

      Meanwhile, if I had QDeimos or Mega Crusty, I’d definitely be considering them for MonCon. Unfortunately, neither one is available to me, at present, so it’s looking ever more like I’ll be going with Mega Anglax and sticking to what I know.

      1. That moving Spire Installation might just be the ticket to making her pretty freaking sweet, not to mention the Amplify unit that will probably do something cool (hopefully blast with boost or a Trigger). I think they also have Power Tap coming, unless that’s on a Metamorph or something… Perhaps a unit with both Amplify and Power Tap. I’d totally field that unit!

      2. The moving installation is almost guaranteed to have some red ability or a worthwhile attack stat/trigger/advantage. The Spire on it will be, of course, nice too, but it needs to do more than move.

        After a turn in my most recent MonPoc game with Bobb, I’d be all for a Power Tap unit. Why Nullifier Pods don’t have it is beyond me (nevermind that it’s not a Rise-block ability).

        The problem I have with the ability reference (and I’ve spent hours upon hours day dreaming about what it could mean) is that it’s not completely accurate so far and like you mentioned, it could be a Morpher/Monster ability instead of a unit. It’s one of those things that I like to dream about, but I don’t put much stock in it.

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