Sunday, 11 March 2012

Mini Monster Rampage

Using my Lego minifigs to try out Mighty Monsters the other day was so much fun that I decided to give them a go with my current favourite set of rules, Giant Monster Rampage (GMR). This is part of the Toy Battle System, which is a family of rules designed for use with action figures in various genres. As well as giant monsters, there are sets covering martial artists, superheroes and robots. A lot of the rules, powers and abilities are interchangeable.

Since I'm more familiar with those rules than I was with Mighty Monsters, I decided to have a four monster free for all.

Hunting through my selection of figures I came up with these, and used 200 point versions of each (click on a picture to make it bigger):

Left to Right: Robotron 2000, Kong, Godzilla, The Minotaur

Godzilla - The perfect balance of long-range firepower with close range destruction. Reasonably tough.

Kong - Poweful close-combat attacks, but no ranged ability.

The Minotaur - Similar to Kong, but the close combat ability is focused into a giant axe.

Robotron 2000 - The opposite of Kong; no close combat ability at all, but with a single, multi-use, blast weapon. All of Robotron 2000's skills focus on making the blast effective.

I tend to play a GMR game over a fixed number of rounds, and settled for six for this particular game. At the end of six turns the monster with the most points, from wounding other monsters and destroying buildings, would win.

I used Lego for much of the terrain as well. Each block represents a building section; when all of a building's sections are destroyed it becomes rubble. Scattered over the playing area were small objects which mosnters could pick up and throw, or use as improvised hand weapons.

I used a 2'x2' area, and switched all distances from inches to centimetres to allow for the use of smaller figures than the normal 3-5" Bandai models I use. Each monster started in the centre of a board edge, their relative positions being determined at random.

This is how they started:

Kong and The Minotaur both closed in on the buildings in their corner of the table, demolishing a few and picking up some points. Since there were a limited number of buildings it was obvious  there would be competition, so it was only a matter of time before once monster attacked the other. It was The Minotaur who started it, charging into Kong:

And missing. They set to fighting each other, although the odd building fell as collateral damage too:

Meanwhile Godzilla and Robotron 2000 set about the long-range demolition of the areas they were in:



Godzilla was more successful; having some decent close combat attacks meant that he could use his blast attack on one building, whilst moving up to another and demolishing it with his jaws and tail. The robot, meanwhile, was restricted to shooting, which uses atomic power. Since the atomic power a monster gets each turn is random, Robotron 2000 was at the mercy of multiple die rolls, and didn't fare well. despite bonuses for targeting he rarely hit anything even when he did have the energy to fire a shot.

By the middle of the game, this was the situation. The Minotaur had come off worse against Kong, who had basically pummelled the man-bull into the ground. Godzilla and Robotron 2000 were still shooting at anything in range, but Godzilla was picking up a steady number of points from demolishing buildings by hand as well.

Kong now moved in on the two large buildings in the centre of the table, as they offered lots of points for minimal effort. This now put him in range of the other two monsters who realised that he needed to be taken down before his points total got too high. Godzilla started to close the range whilst Robotron 2000 kept up a steady fire. They both kept missing and, meanwhile, Kong demolished most of a skyscraper:

With the skyscraper gone, Kong moved in on Robotron 2000, looking to pick up a few points in the final round for wounding another monster. Once again the robot failed to hit Kong, but Kong's efforts weren't much better either. Godzilla took out a few more building sections, and the game ended with a bit of a whimper.

 The final points were:

Kong - 13 wounds + 9 buildings = 22 points
Godzilla - 2 wounds + 9 buildings = 11 points
The Minotaur - 2 wounds + 3 buildings = 5 points
Robotron 2000 = 0 wounds + 4 buildings = 4 points

So, despite being knocked out halfway through the game The Minotaur still scored more points than Robotron 2000, who was ridiculously unlucky in terms of hitting things and then converting the hits to actual destruction. The Minotaur and Kong were well-matched, but once Kong started pounding The Minotaur it was difficult for him to get back into the fight. It could have easily gone the other way. Monsters designed entirely around close combat can be quite deadly in GMR, as they don't rely on unreliable atomic power in order to launch attacks. Godzilla showed that a balanced approach can steadily tot up points; on most turns he could potentially attack one building with his tail and teeth, and another with his atomic breath. However I spaced the buildings badly; they gaps were too large given that movement was in centimetres rather than inches, and on some turns he struggled to reach the next building with a basic move. Possibly if I used monster of this scale again it will be in half-inches, or I will used smaller bricks for the buildings and have them more closely spaced.

Anyway, it was an interesting game, with The Minotaur and Robotron 2000 being new designs I'd not tried before. The Minotaur is a potentially good anti-monster monster, assuming the target doesn't have powerful close-combat retaliatory attacks.

For those interested, here are the stats for the monsters:

Godzilla (Animal) - Distance 3 Dexterity 3 Toughness 5 Instinct 4 Wounds 10, Bite (2"/2), Tail (2"/2, Knockback), Energy Blast, Regeneration, Swim, Tenacity

Kong (Animal) - Distance 4 Dexterity 4 Toughness 4 Instinct 3 Wounds 10, Fist x2 (2"/3, Daze), Strong, Cling, Tenacity

The Minotaur (Humanoid) - Distance 4  Dexterity 4 Toughness 4 Instinct 4 Wounds 10, Axe (2"/3, Massive), Horns (2"/2), Follow Through, Impaler, Skilled

Robotron 2000 (Mechanoid) - Distance 3 Dexterity 3 Toughness 4 Instinct 6 Wounds 10, Microwave Blast, Targeting Systems, Multiple Blast Points, Determination x1, Alternator


  1. My son wants to know where he can get the rules from so we can have a go!

    1. I use the 2nd Edition rules, but you can get the latest version at Wargames Vault for a mere $9.99 (pdf download):

      Giant Monster Rampage

      I think that edition includes what the author calls the Swarm rules, which allows for monsters made up of multiple small components, but also allows for creating human (or alien) military forces as well. In the basic game the military are abstracted.

      Note that my game uses powers and abilities from the martial arts and super-hero versions of the game system, but I don't know how many of those have found their way into the Deluxe edition.

  2. Robotron 2000 is obviously a forerunner of Centurion 3000 which is the nickname for the computer system that will be installed in the Library of Birmingham in 2013. When it goes operational it is feared by some that it will herald Judgement Day.

    1. It's also the title of a song by Freezepop :)

  3. I, for one, welcome our robotic overlords.


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