Friday, September 11, 2009

The DOOMaster

Well we had a rather disasterous few sessions of DOOM:The Boardgame over the last few weeks. We played through the first couple of levels and in fact into the third level without ever once making it to the end.

We cheated a little I'll admit we went into the third level with three armour each, and a host of weapons all carried forwards from the last mission ( despite losing ). Our only excuse was we wanted a chance to win.

This third level is a doozey. You have to fight your way within 7 turns to one location and immediately another objective starts with only 7 turns to reach it, and then again once more. It has a lot of long corridors so speed is of the essence.

I had some speedy abiilities so I sped off to grab some armour, only to find that the next bit of corridor was now blocked by spiders at a choke point where the corridor narrowed. The other guys then came up after but with the spiders there the path was blocked. So when it came to my turn I was blocked by friends and foes from advancing or attacking. So let me cut this sorry episode short. We never made it along that corridor, a few big-nasty spawns and it was blocked beyond hope, and we died before opening the first door.

So after this miserable defeat we decided to reset it and try again. It the first time we've ever bothered with a reset, normally we just go only the next mission to keep the variety nice and spicey!

So we reset, I sped off and gained the choke point before the enemy did and ignored the armour, which made me rather sad. I promptly broke all of my weapons and resorted to the mighty fists of fury and started battling up this corridor. My fellow marines did likewise and this time we actually made progress. Through the first door and into the room with a lot of big nasties... we got no further. A second crushing defeat.

So we reset, determined to beat this darned thing. Once again I raced to the choke point to secure our path forwards. My marines fists once again leading the way. The other marines followed my lead, we dodged around the bad guys in the corridor, battered the zombies guarding the first door and burst into the room. Some handy grenades from my fellow marines helped to clear the decks. My marine burst through the next door and came to a halt. Two Demons blocked the next corridor next to each other in a mutual Swipe position, remember my Marine only had fists so I dared not advance.

The other guys were battling the big beaties in the previous room and as it turned out the Invaders couldn't stand still and advanced on my poor guy. Sure he got severely hurt but did manage to Punch both of those doggies to death in the process.

We made the second objective and headed for the third. Unfortunately this was being stood on by a Cyber demon and my bloodied fists weren't ever able to husrt him. The next marine into the room promptly ran out of ammo, where was the third guy?

Well he was low on health and he also was without ammo. We were on 4 frags and about 4 turns until the deck was drawn out. He was our only hope (Obi Wan) as he was standing next to grenades with an imp on the bazooka. He splatted the imp grabbed the goodies and advanced towards the line of invaders blocking his way. He needed the invaders to kill him so that he could spawn forwards into the last room. They didn't attack him, just stood there blocking the way. So with a gulp he took the only option he had and shot at an invader while standing in the blast area.

Sure, he got his wish, a frag and a spawn forwards. Unfortunately it also used up the only ammo for the bazooka. Game over. The cyber demon couldn't be hurt by us, we needed the bazooka to blow him off of the objective with the bazookas Knock back.

So we sat back and considered just how darned HARD this game is. We cheated with extra armour and weapons and had still been wasted.

An idle flick through the rules a little later spotted a goof we had made. We had thought that Invader minis blocked line of sight for Spawning, thus the Invader player had been able place lines of invaders along the corridors forming road blocks, and had been spawning in the same room when he shouldn't have been able to.

So there we were, wrecked, dispointed and now dispairing at the rules error. Did it last? Did we actually cry? No and No. We did put DOOM away for a while, and broke out Memoir '44:Hedgerow Hell, you can't keep gamers down!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Speeding up Doom : The Boardgame

Here are my suggestions for speeding up the base game of Doom.

Marine players all play at once or as near simualtaneous as possible.

However before they all start making their moves, the Invader player is given the chance to examine any interrupting cards in his hand and advise the players wether he may or will not be playing any of them. The Invader player must be given some lenience by the Marine players to play these cards to thier best and even have the Marines take back a part of their turn as required.

Next, when it comes time to lay out a room the Invader player should read out the items to be placed and the Marine players do all of the searching through the boxes ( and baggies ). This speeds up the building up of the rooms.

The next point is possibly going to cause the most arguement. Limit the invader to activating no more than 8 alien-monsters per turn.

Of course, this makes the game just a little easier for the marines, but it does make the game more enjoyable, and keeps everyone busy, more of the time.