SDE: The Rocktop Gang

We’ve been posting Super Dungeon Explore articles for awhile now; normally we look at the Heroes, occasionally we trip over to the dark side and look at the minibosses, but today we’re taking a look at our first villainous mob, the Rocktop Gang. This is less because I’ve been using them in all of my games, and more because my artist friend Augusta wanted to paint something, thought they were adorable, and turned the definitely-not-koopa-troopas of the Rocktop Gang into LAVA TURTLES!!!!!

Minions of Roxor that aren’t simply malevolent chelonians but that are actually burning from within with fiery doom? Hermagherd!!

The Rocktop Gang


The Rocktop Gang come with a paired spawn point, the Rock Pile. The Rock Piles also have 4 Health, rather than the usual 3 that most Spawn Points have, which means that most heroes can’t simply walk up to one and use all three of their actions to take it out. As added rudeness, monsters within 2 squares of the Rock Pile that have blue crystal affinities are immune to all status effects.

Crusher is the giant of the  group (pictured below). High strength, excellent armour, and four health, he’s a bear (or mayhap a tortoise?) to deal with. The real danger is when he picks up one of his spawnmates and throws it at you with Thwack, an ability that lets him lob friendly lobs up to 6 squares away, damaging every model adjacent to the target square for 1B for every square it travelled, so up to 6 blue dice. It’s bowling for heroes! Just to be rude he can also do a Wave 3 Turtle Tremor, that starts at 1R2B and gains an additional 1B for every Turtle Shell in the area of effect as they rocket around smacking into people.

Bombardier is the long range threat of the group, its Cannon letting it shoot up to 10 squares away, rolling three blue dice. Like the Crusher, however, it can also use its spawnmates, upgrading to Turtle Cannon for a 6 square throw, much like the Crusher, but it results in a Burst 2 explosion at the impact point, which also destroys whichever poor turtle was used as ammunition.

Roller is the third Elite mob in the bunch (because two wasn’t enough). Easier to kill than the Crusher, it actually hits harder with 2R strength. Its special attack is a 4 square Throw, because it doesn’t have the raw oomph of the previous two Elites, but don’t underestimate its potential.

Slowpoke is the standard mob, with average stats across the board. His main purpose, other than trundling around the map slowly, is to provide ammunition for the three Elite’s through use of the Shell ability (which is, for the record, shared with the Bombardier and the Roller). Shell means that any time one of these models is destroyed, it’s replaced with a Turtle Shell. Yes, the Rock Top Gang leave little armoured corpses all over the board, which the Elites then use to beat the heroes around the head. The Rock Top Gang is so metal.

Thankfully for the heroes, the Turtle Shell models can be destroyed before they have a chance to inconvenience the heroes too badly. They do, however, have 2 health each, so they’re going to take two actions apiece to destroy.

Before we get to Arcade Mode, just check out the fire glowing hot beneath the Crusher’s shell, and boggle slightly. Augusta did an amazing job bringing her lava turtles to life!


In Arcade Mode the Rock Pile retains its Rock Aura ability, but goes down to 3 health, so you’ll actually have a shot at taking out in a single hero’s activation if you can get close to it. The full complement of mobs come with it, though in Arcade Mode there’s the notable absence of the Turtle Shells. The members of the Rocktop Gang lose the Shell ability in this format, though of course this is countered elsewhere on their stat cards.

Rockers is the largest of the mobs, bringing with it the enormous Crusher and all six of the Slowpokes. The Crusher is, of course, the leader of the mob. With such a brute heading up the squad, it’ll come as no surprise that the main attack is Strength 3, with a range of 2, and he retains Turtle Tremor but in this variant it’s a Wave 5 attack that also causes Knockdown. Should he be supported, the base Strength goes up to 4, range to 3, and the Turtle Tremor gets an additional point of Strength as well. Oh, and just to be rude, the mob gets three actions instead of one.

Shell Battery uses both of the Bombardiers. A much smaller mob than the Rockers, this duo brings their range 8 cannons at Strength 2 or 3 depending on whether they’re supported or not. The Turtle Cannon fires a Burst 2, but if they’re concerting their efforts, it goes to Burst 3 and Strength 4, just to be rude. Given that there’s only two of them, reducing their effectiveness isn’t too difficult, but then, they really don’t lose too much oomph in the bargain.

Bulky Foremen is the last gang, with both Rollers present and accounted for. Their habit of pitching turtle shells at the heroes is represented by a base range of 4 regardless of whether they’re supported or not. Their Thwack ability adds Knockdown to the attack, or can ramp up to having an additional point of strength and Burst 1, so once again we’re bowling for heroes.


The Rocktop Gang is one of my favourite mobs from SDE Mk1 conceptually. Turtle terrors stomping around the place, retreating to their shells when threatened only to be lobbed at the heroes by one of their bigger spawnmates. The opportunities for creative paint schemes are boundless, whether you choose to model them after a certain video game starring a plumber, or something else entirely. They’re silly, they’re fun, and though there’s no way in heck they’re every going to outmaneuver the heroes with their little plodding feet, they’ve got multiple ranged options to unleash all sorts of heck at any heroes too wussy to charge in and go toe to toe with a Crusher 😉

These guys come in the Caverns of Roxor level expansion for Super Dungeon Explore along with three heroes – Princess Ruby, the Deeproot Scout and the Star Guild Sapper – and the Lava Whirl spawn point (to be discussed another day). It’s available through Soda Pop’s online store and through your local retailers.

2 Responses to SDE: The Rocktop Gang

  1. I really like your colour scheme here. What did you use for that red-black? I was trying something similar with the big man Roxor, but it couldn’t pull the dark bits off.

  2. The red-black is actually “Umbral Umber” over a base coat of orange, and then some burnt sienna highlights at the edges of the rocks on the shell/arms. On the fleshier parts of the arms I uses a standard red then dry-brushed a bit of the burnt sienna over it to give it that half-forming look.