With a city set up on the dining table, and all the monsters out of the box, it was simple enough to play some more monster games. This time, however, I decided to play 'Giant Monster Rampage'. After a quick reread to refresh my memory, I tried the previous game again - Godzilla vs Gamera.
I ran the same scenario - one monster attacking a city, the other defending. This time Godzilla was the heroic defender, whilst Gamera was eating buildings. In GMR buildings take multiple hits, and are destroyed when they are all gone. I gave each one three hits, and decided that a monster would win if it could cause 30 points of damage to the city. The other monster had to stop them.
Gamera started eating buildings whilst Godzilla advanced to meet him, Gamera's Flame Blast is quite useful in a city destroying mission, as it can target everything in a straight line. This means that he can shoot up several buildings at once if he gets his positioning right.
My GMR Gamera can't fly; but does have the Leap ability to represent short flight bursts. He used this to great effect to avoid Godzilla; after all, there were buildings everywhere.
Godzilla got into range with his Energy Blast, and inflicted serious damage on Gamera, whose armour saves totally failed him.
Capturing the initiative. Godzilla moved in close, blasting Gamera, then biting and attacking with his mighty tail.
Ganera jetted to safety again, and set up another line of buildings for destruction.
However once again Godzilla got in close, this time grabbing Gamera ...
... and throwing him to the ground. A final Energy Blast finished him off.
Gamera had some very unlucky save rolls, and also failed all of his rolls to heal damage at the end of the turn. In fact he destroyed 21 building sections, so was heading for a win if he'd held on for a couple more turns. Godzilla's tail sweep, with its knockdown ability was very useful though, stopping Gamera from moving much in the later stages of the battle.
I then decided to replay one of Thursday's games - Kiryu once again defended the city from Godzilla. The GMR Kiryu is loaded with effective missile weaponry, from volleys of missiles to a very useful freeze-ray. All he needs is the energy to use them - GMR uses a die-roll to determine how much energy a monster has each turn. Roll badly and your weapons may not fire this turn.
As Godzilla started destroying buildings, Kiryu rushed across the table.
His first missile volley was devastating; three hits, with the '0' rolls counting as criticals for extra damage.
Plus the explosions knocked Godzilla down.
The battle soon developed into a close combat brawl. Godzilla's Energy Blast kept missing, but his bit and tail proved effective. Kiryu retaliated with a characteristic sapping Cold Blast. Godzilla was down to hi last wound point, and his Regeneration ability kept failing him.
But Kiryu was suffering damage as well, and a retaliatory tail strike was enough to finish him off. It was close, but Godzilla was the victor.
So how did these games compare with 'Mighty Monsters'? Well, I'm more familiar with the system, but there are a lot more little bits and pieces to remember in GMR. However that extra detail is a bonus as well, allowing some useful effects to be easily modelled in the game; GMR allows a much wider range of creatures and monsters to be modelled than 'Mighty Monsters'. There's less choice in manoeuvres, and the turn sequence is more standard than the SBH-derived one of "Mighty Monsters' however. Although I haven't used them in 'Mighty Monsters', I like the look of the rules for army units, and similar, whereas those in GMR are more abstract, with even their on-table appearence being represented as 'swarms'.
I tried some optional and variant rules in these games:
The varied turn sequence option was interesting - in the basic game a monster moves, uses ranged attacks if allowed, then fights in close combat., but an option allows you to do these three things in any order on your turn. I found that it offered more tactical flexibility, with pretty well no added complexity, so will use it again.
I experimented with a system for storing Atomic Power (AP) as well, in an attempt to even out the randomness of determining it with a single D10 roll. Left-over AP can be added to your initiative roll at the start of the next turn, but is otherwise lost. I allowed a monster to hold onto it. When you rolled for AP, you took the score on the dice or half (rounded up) of whatever you had left from the previous turn. It seemed to work OK, but I need to try it some more.
Finally I made knock-downs a little less inconvenient. Being knocked down is bad, and at present a monster that is knocked down must spend its whole movement phase getting up. This means that they can't attempt to escape, or manoeuvre into a better position before - inevitably - they are knocked down again. There are a lot of ways to knock down a monster. So, rather than have it cost the whole move, I had getting up just costing a movement segment. Normally a monster can move twice their Move characteristic, and then used a ranged attack, or they can move three times their Move characteristic. I changed this so that if a monster stood up they could move their Move characteristic and shoot, or twice the characteristic with no shooting. Being knocked down slows you, but doesn't stop you. Again, more testing is required, but it didn't seem to be a game breaker.
I have packed the city away now, but I can see it coming out again soon ...
Here are the monsters' stats:
Distance 3 Dexterity 3 Toughness 5 Instinct 3
Bite 2"/2 Tail 2"/2 Knockback 2"
Energy Blast, Regeneration, Swim, Tenacity
Distance 3 Dexterity 2 Toughness 4 Instinct 3
Bite 2"/2 Claw x 2 2"/1
Flame Blast, Swim, Leap, Blast Armour, Contact Armour, Tenacity
Distance 3 Dexterity 3 Toughness 4 Instinct 4
Drill 2"/2 Blade 2"/1
Mechanical Blast, Freeze Blast, Laser Blast, Leap, Alternator