Monday, January 22, 2018

Clash of the Kaiju Clobbers Cleveland

Cleveland, the Ohio National Guard, and some B Movie monsters were the scene for some monster-stomping action
I have always been a big fan of Godzilla movies. Years back, I played in Doug Johnson's light-hearted "Clash of the Kaiju" games at Drums at the Rapids. Each player takes on the role of a monster stomping buildings into rubble, swatting aside ineffectual human armed forces tanks and vehicles, and then battling it out for control of the city. After getting the rules, and years of working on the necessary monsters and buildings, Keith was finally ready to host a game for our Sunday night gaming group.
My monster (or "kaiju"), Kur Slug, at left, is eyeballed by Allen's monster, Atomic Squid
A table full of cardstock buildings stood in for Cleveland, Ohio, and Keith's supply of movie monsters and random creatures stood ready for the battle. Keith insisted we draw randomly for our Kaiju -- as people call those Japanese movie monsters, nowadays. This meant none of the big names like Godzilla, Rodan, or Gamera made it onto the table. I drew Kur Slug -- a nasty looking, pinkish centipede looking creature with 12 limbs. Joel drew Sluggo, whose bulging eye stalks looking hilariously nonchalant as it slid along the city streets. Allen had Atomic Squid, which could not leave the water, so was limited to how much he would encounter the other monsters. Mike S had some plant thing with a name like N'gock, or something like that! Keith would control the Ohio National Guard, which was augmented for the emergency with experimental mech walkers with advanced weaponry.
Kur Slug dispatches an experimental mech walkers of the Ohio National Guard
I had played the game before, and learned you need to focus early on smashing buildings, and only going after the human military when they got in your way. In Doug's Clash of Kaiju rules, you get bonus cards when you stomp a building into rubble. These bonus cards can help you with augmented attacks, additional actions, movement, and defense. Experience had taught that you will need those cards when you start fighting your rival monsters. So, I quickly began racking up buildings, avoiding the other monsters and the military.
Sluggo takes a leisurely....stroll? Slime? Though the deserted streets of Cleveland
A hilarious continuing story developed as Joel's Sluggo led a group of tanks on a merry chase through the city streets. You may not know this, but a giant slug is faster than a tank. So, Joel kept squeezing between buildings, turning corners, and generally frustrating the tanks as they sought to get a shot at him. In general, the human military pieces -- helicopters, tanks, jets, etc. -- are ineffective against monsters. Joel tried to take down a few buildings along the way, but was having horrible luck with his die rolls. Most monsters need a 5-6 on 1d6 to smash a building, "6" on the largest or strongest ones. Monsters have three health levels, and at their peak, usually roll 4d6 per attack, which I calculate being about an 80% chance of taking down a building. While Joel defied the odds in a negative way, my Kur Slug was balancing it out in a positive way. I failed to take down only one building all evening -- meaning I was racking up more cards than the other players.
Sluggo sneaks over and "poaches" the plant-thing's kill of a mech unit -- earning the bonus cards despite Mike doing most the damage!
My clever plan was to build up such a hand of bonus cards that I could suddenly attack another monster by surprise and knock him out with a couple overwhelming blows. My job got a bit easier as Sluggo started to take damage from the Ohio National Guard. Even better, the plant-thing ended up fighting two of the mechs back to back. They wore him down and eventually knocked him out. Unexpectedly, he was given another Kaiju, so I knew I had to spring my attack a bit earlier than I wanted.
Sluggo tries to get at an annoying jump jet, which had been pestering all evening
I used a "move to any square on the board" card to appear next to the weakened Sluggo. I rattled off a bunch of cards -- one to freeze his actions so I suffered no counterattack, and others to double or augment my damage. It ended up taking two turns (during both of which I froze his actions), and most of my cards, but Kur Slug eventually pounded the hard-luck Sluggo to the pavement.
Kur Slug launches a flurry of attacks with his 12 limbs, taking two turns to knock Sluggo out
I didn't have to worry about the Atomic Squid, as Allen had withdrawn back to the water after destroying all buildings within his reach of his Lake Erie home. Allen truly turned the city's waterfront into "The Flats"...ha, ha! Mike S had a flying reptilian (Gayos, or something like that) that was the sole other surviving monster to dispute Kur Slug's control of Cleveland. He had been steadily building up cards since arriving on board, while I had been steadily depleting mine. Plus, I had used all of my special attack (each monster has a limited number of more deadly, special attacks -- such as Godzilla's breath attack or Kur Slug's poison spit). Gayos flew in and attacked, breathing his flame on Kur Slug till he had expended all of them. I struck back with everything I had, also whittling him down.
Keith's cardstock Cleveland Ohio, eerily deserted just before the monsters arrive
Mike S should probably have won the match based on damage remaining and attack dice. However, Kur Slug's dice remained hot. With only 3 hits of health left, he took out Gayos, and triumphed. I had rolled exceptionally well on Defense Dice (need sixes to be successful), while Mike seldom blocked any of my attacks. Kur Slug ended up being the new King of Cleveland -- at least until the next monster smackdown occurs.

It was a fun evening, with lots of dice rolling and a little bit of tactics to make for a good game. Keith's cardstock city looked great. Now he just has to make some rubble pieces for the destroyed buildings!


  1. Great write-up there! I've been playing King of Tokyo ( a monster battle card/board game) with my kids and they're constantly at me to play a miniature's game with big monsters. I'll have to show them this page and see what we can do.

  2. Fantastic game! My boys spent Christmas vacation watching lots of Godzilla movies.