Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Massive munchkin

Some investigations by J1 today, questions that came up while we were playing Munchkin. Note: this just uses the basic set, no expansions.

What is the most powerful character?

There are a collection of restrictions, for example characters only have two hands, some items can only be used by certain types of characters. As a result, we thought this would be a challenge involving a lot of trade-offs and some difficult decisions about which class (wizard, thief, cleric, warrior) and race (human, halfling, elf, dwarf) would work best. However, almost all of the decisions ended up being straightforward.

As with everything in Munchkin, this investigation led to some discussion about rules. In particular, is a hireling allowed to wear items (armor, headgear, etc) or just hold one? Of course, it also made us ask for our own investigation whether we count the hireling +items in the character's fighting strength?  Our answers: hirelings can only add one extra item but the associated bonuses do count.

J1's answer: 9 level character + 36 bonuses = 45 fighting strength.

What is the most power you can have in a single combat

Taking our most powerful character, we threw on all the single-shot bonus items and then, wham, double everything with the doppleganger card. Again, this seemed pretty clear, with no challenging trade-offs.

J1's answer: (45 fighting strength character + 30 bonuses ) * 2 doppleganger = 150 total combat power

What is the most powerful monster?

Combination with most power to overcome

Again, this basic question wasn't too tricky. J1 found the most powerful monster, all the monster adjustments, and the "mate" card to create the most powerful "single" monster. Using the 3 additional wandering monster cards, he tacked on the next three most powerful monsters. Ending result:

J1's answer: (20 plutonium dragon + 30 monster adjustments) * 2 mate + 16 + 18 + 18 = 152 fighting power

If you could defeat this combo, how many levels do you get? 10 levels
If you could defeat this combo, how many treasures do you get? 35 treasures

Most difficult to defeat

Naively, you might think that the most powerful fighting combination of monsters is also the most difficult to defeat. Indeed, 152 fighting strength that we found in the previous question is quite a formidable gang to face. From our earlier calculation, a single character doesn't seem able to defeat them without help (150 fighting strength vs 152 fighting strength).  However, since some of the top monsters are Undead and our top character is a Cleric, they could get another +3 bonus and come out on top.

So, the super-monster gang is super tough, but can be defeated by a single character, Super Munchkin!

On the other hand, there is a combination which is practically impossible to defeat and it comes from a monster that doesn't seem to be so powerful: Ghoulfiends. Their base fighting strength is only 8, but you can't use any items or bonuses to fight them!

Imagine facing this:

This monster has fighting strength (8 + 30) * 2 = 76

That's far lower than 152, of course. However, if Super Muchkin (SM) faces the mating pair of Enraged, Humongous, Intelligent, Ancient Ghoulfiends (PEHIAG), the contest is 9 (SM's level) against 76. That means PEHIAG is impossible to defeat without help.

Even with help, it would take at least 7 other players of level 9 and one other player of level 4, one of whom is a warrior, to defeat PEHIAG. Face it, 8 other players aren't going to team up to help you win, so, just run away.

1 comment:

  1. I've noticed that this post has gotten a lot of traffic. Since no one has commented, I guess that is an implicit endorsement of our conclusions. I'm amazed that there's no rule debate lurking here somewhere.