Preface: I’ve played Ulgoth once before. I was showing my friend how to play once a I had a couple of Vassal games under my belt aboutfour years ago. He beat me without much effort as I quickly discovered I was taking damage on my attacks and that my spires and super strength were without as much utility. Swat for two left me losing one as well. I was left with a quiet little riddle that I didn’t have to bother with until my last game.
Last week, I met up with a player on the Vassal MonPoc met up group. A great guy named Seth (I know he’s great because he’s volunteering for an upcoming beer festival). We place our armies and I see he’s playing Cthul. Then I see he’s playing Ulgoth, the dreaded Muffin Man. The game was long but very enjoyable. I got the early unit supremacy thanks to my flying blasters and the securing of the radar installation and defense contractors. I actually felt pretty confident most of the game, or at least not completely reactive which has been my experience playing the active players in the MonPoc community. Seth hadn’t played much in the last three years or so. In the end however, his healing and clever play left me with my unbroken un-winning streak of 0-20.
That said, the game was tremendous and my favourite to date. In my last run on the Tuesday Night Monster both Bobb and Kevin were nice enough to give me three tips each on my units and buildings and I’ve adjusted my force accordingly.
What Was Tried And Learned:
Blasting (with units and Ultra Leviathron) – I took a more Martian force with a lot of blasters in this game. With two Radars Installations I wanted to maintain an extended range for my units. First round shots on Towers of Corruption to remove the buildings and push an a-die (Maco Subs)were a big part of my first turn and later strategies. There have been a couple of games where the defense contractor has been used to great effect against me and I wanted to see if I could get them to work for me. A spiral relay thrown into the mix also for the Sync Move trigger, which I now absolutely love. The screening, spreading out, and possible sprint are just great.
Ultra Levi’s no slouch when blasting, not fantastic but long range (and some with radar) and 3 boost die, he’s an ok sniper while playing it safe. His brawling on the Alpha is one boost die… Beside a Spiral Relay the synch move allows for out of unit turn screening or positioning. The red Sprint is a useful ability as the Pathfinder is dependent on the having an enemy unit and hot dice and allows for a small hit and run. Power Gorge trigger, if available from a Nautilis, wouldn’t hurt. The other thing I like about the blasting is the lack of the radial trigger going off when I don’t want it to.
Unit Control/Plays – I’ve been seriously out played by units in the past and I think with a DEF 5 monster you have to be far more reliant on units doing solid hits, securing, and screening. I think it’s partly due to Levi’s look and Armoured that I was lulled into believing this was an aggressive beast that could just get in the opponents face and, in my minds eye, shrug off the hits from tanks and choppers that would be spawned following his attack.
This is certainly not the case and Levi on the opponents side last slightly longer than a sack of raw shellfish on my dashboard in the fierce August heat. Ultra Levi lends the blue speed boost to units which makes the screening easier and securing a little more doable. The longer he’s in this form the bigger the gain as far as I can tell.
One of the areas Radial shines is the unit control side of things. Should three units come over to hit my base Levi is exceptionally strong at cleaning them up with one radial on the brawl or swat. Because it’s a secondary trigger I’m usually getting these pieces as gravy while I clear a path for my pedestrian or swat a monster. With Levi’s two damage potential on the swat alignment isn’t necessary, and with screening, not usually available. Because of the way screening gets set up and the way radial works the screens seem to feed Levi when he gets brave enough or is about to back to back. It’s getting easier to keep more units on the board than my opponent.
With tow/explosion on unit turns and radial on Monster getting the p die isn’t a struggle. That said, most monster seem to be full by end of the second and certainly the third.
Ulgoth’s Volatile cramping my Swats and its Immunity to Throws was a huge pain but it forced me to start using smash, which was a lot of fun and I really got into looking for alignments and buildings to smash Ulgoth into. What I did find was that after the buildings got levelled Smashing was a one point venture. Next game I’m going to play the PP Building to have that two point damage available. I’ll also bring a couple of psi eels to have around as movable hazards and limit the places the enemy can park their monster.
So to wrap it up:
An awesome game against a fun opponent
Drop some units and bring one or two psi eels
Bring another Spadefin and another Spiral Relay, especially the Relay.
Another Nautilas (had one).
Drop my second radar and bring the PP building.
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