Well I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I bought Mighty Monsters and Samurai Robots Battle Royale from Ganesha Games (I got them together in a US$14 pdf bundle). Last night I had my first couple of games and you know what? I have two regrets.
The first is that I didn't invest in the hard copy books - because lets admit it, a book is always nicer than pages you printed at home. The second, is that I waited this long to play the games. They were, genuinely, a real laugh. The lads I played with and against were top quality chaps anyway, but the rules really bring the giant stomping monsters and mechs to life and make destruction and havoc a real blast (mind the pun)! It's the sort of destructive fun that my generation haven't had since the 1986 arcade game Rampage.
In both games I took the much shot at Mantis, my chitinous kaiju based on a giant praying mantis. In the first game Mantis was in a one-on-one duel with IRN Mech. While Mantis is very powerful in combat, it is very slow, while IRN Mech is a bit of a multi-tasker.
I have to say that the mech had me in trouble almost from the start and at one point had me pinned in front of a large rock. He kept using a concussive blast which made me hit off the rock and collapse. I'd spend my turn standing up, then he'd knock me down again. This went on for several turns until a well aimed blast from the mech's twin-linked cannons took the poor insectoid out of the game.
Our second game saw IRN Mech supported by an ISIS Response Force and Mantis joined by Dagon, the fishy kaiju. This game was a bit more evenly matched but the mech still came out as pretty much the last man standing. He certainly earned 'man of the match'.
However, by far the most enjoyable critter on the table was Dagon who squished and squashed his way around buildings repeatedly spitting acid on the ISIS artillery piece until it blew up. Meanwhile, poor old Mantis was shot at some more and ended up being KO'd when a building fell on top of it...
Towards the close of the battle Dagon was surrouunded by the ISIS infantry platoon but managed to create a poisonous cloud which successfully took out 80% of the enemy.
Nevertheless, by this stage the little fish-dude was badly wounded and as he skulked off to hide and regenerate a little, IRN Mech managed to leap over the intervening buildings and flatten Dagon with a body slam. Meddlesome humans and their tech, 2: Kaiju, 0.
We chased those games down with some more playtesting of Irregular Wars: Conflict at the World's End (2nd ed) which also went very well with no new issues raised and a rare victory for me (Dutch) against some pesky Caribbean Indians.
In this first shot you can see the Cimaroons (escaped slaves) sniping - badly - at the duch from the woods. Dutch deployment was superb but the pre-game disease and mishaps round saw them very ill and dispersed all over the place.
However, as the progressed the Indians stretched their line too much and several units who fell out side of their lord's command radius fled the table altogether. A judicious use of my single troop of rijters (mounted pistoleers) saw the cracks emerge in the Indian ranks and the successive turns of Dutch artillery and shot pounding the Indian cacique (chieftain) saw his men flee the table.
A very VERY satisfactory evening and a big thanks to those who kept me entertained!