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Doom: The Boardgame» Forums » Rules

Subject: Equipment, ammo, and the number of Marines rss

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Neil Sorenson
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Other people have voiced issues about the availability of ammo and equipment and how it creates issues based on the number of marines (either making it too difficult for 3 marines to adequately equipped or too easy for a single marine to be maxed out with 4+ armor, etc.).

As I have only played the game with 2 marine (and found the balance to be quite good) I haven't experienced the equipment issues that others have mentioned but can imagine that problems might arise. I was wondering whether or not the solution (if one considers there to be an existing problem) might be to modify the current scenarios and scale equipment in the same manner that the monsters/invaders are scaled based on the number of marines. By marking up the scenarios with color-coded ammo, armor, etc. it would allow for limited placement in a single marine game and a more healthy pile of equipment for 3-marine games. It might also allow for interesting monster assignments in scenario creation since one could assign nastier monsters that are limited to a single marine color and then be balanced by more equipment of that color (want a blue hell knight in that room? put a pile of blue grenades in the adjacent hall).

Anyway... it's just a thought.
 
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jesper rathsach
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Re:Equipment, ammo, and the number of Marines
kakupacal (#74319),

Maybe the solution is much much simpler than everything that has come up on this board.
Keep the rules as they are regarding placement of stuff on the map, but change the loadout of the marines.

As it is now, the more marines there are, the less ammo pr. Marine to start with. But why not just let every marine start with the "1 marine loadout" incl. special abilities?

Regarding the pace of the card drawing for the invader, then draw 1 for a 1 marine game and 2 for a 2 and 3 marine game. This should all balance the 3 gametypes nicely.

I wonder when Kevin will swoop by and give a say on the balancing choices made. I mean, the guy designed it, and has playtested it more than this entire forum put together :-).. Maybe, just maybe, everyone is missing the key mechanic that Kevin is trying to pull here..

 
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John Jeneki
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Re:Equipment, ammo, and the number of Marines
I think the biggest issue here is that people want to play "Doom: The Boardgame". Unfortunately, due to the nature of marketing we recieved "Doom 3: The Boardgame" instead. Doom 3 just wasn't the same as Doom, so we got a boardgame that isn't Doom.

I wonder if we can get a Serious Sam boardgame ... I'm sure that would sate everyone's need for mindless slaughter. ^_^

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jesper rathsach
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Re:Equipment, ammo, and the number of Marines
Jeneki (#74386),

Actually, if you play the game on normal level or above, you'll find that ammo is very much an issue. Quite often you'll find yourself reduced to using your pistol..

Maybe someone should playtest with unlimited pistol ammo?
 
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John Jeneki
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Re:Equipment, ammo, and the number of Marines
TheBlaznee,

I was just playing Doom 1 and 2 again last week on Ultra Violence mode (there is no other ^_^). I never had ammo issues, even with the extra enemies. Sure, I may not be able to use the rocket launcher non-stop for three levels stright, but I don't have to 'take it easy' or run from fights just to avoid totally running out. Limited ammo seems to be exclusive to Doom 3 based on my experience.

 
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jesper rathsach
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Re:Equipment, ammo, and the number of Marines
Jeneki (#74501),

I meant the game as "Doom 3", as the game is based on that..

In the old ones you only have ammo shortage on Nightmare level..
 
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Kevin Wilson
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Doom: The Boardgame » Forums » Rules
Re:Equipment, ammo, and the number of Marines
Well, to address the issue of game difficulty for the marines and ammo, I'll just say this:

While I am working on a difficulty mod so that players can customize the game to their own tastes, I personally am pretty happy with the level of difficulty the game presents currently, without modification. I've played level 1, for instance, something like 40 times, and the marines have been able to pull off a good percentage of wins, although I will grant you, whatever side I was on tended to win (this is probably the first game I've designed that I'm actually pretty good at).

Part of this has to do with my play experience. I know the idiosyncracies of the dice like the back of my hand, I know what cards are available to the invader and I always keep them in mind, and yeah, I designed the scenarios.

However, besides this, there are a number of tactical options available to the marines that are not obvious at first, and I've seen and heard about a number of mistakes that would make it a lot harder for the marines to win. These include:

1. Allowing invaders to spawn in front of you.
This is a huge no-no. You need to always keep line of sight to areas in front of you. Make the invaders spawn behind you at all costs. Particularly mancubi and hell knights. When those spawn ahead of you, you're looking at a several turn delay, and ultimately, the marines are in a race against time. Speaking of which...

2. Wasting Turns
Don't spend time messing around. Don't ever go backwards to kill invaders. Don't waste turns setting up the perfect door opening scenario. Try not to unload if you can help it (or unless one or more invaders are about to deliver a massive payload of damage). All of these things will translate to more cards for the invader, which translate directly into frags. Be aware that teamwork is more important the more marines there are, as your resources are split more ways, and you will need every marine operating effectively to win.

3. Wasting Ammo
I've watched marines shoot trites and imps right next to them. I've seen a marine with the chainsaw and special ops hoard his ammo like it was gold instead of giving it to the player with the machine gun and marksman. Ammo is a limited resource in this game, and if you waste it, you're going to be down to fists and chainsaws, even against monsters you really need bigger weapons to kill.

To go off on a tangent for a moment: A limited resource must be scarce enough that there's a reason to conserve it, or else there's no point in tracking it at all, and if this isn't just like the video game, well, I'm okay with that. There's not a lot of teamwork in the basic video game experience either, nor do you get to play many spawn or event cards. In adapting Doom to a new medium, I had to make changes to the fundamental assumptions of gameplay to create a tense, exciting game, and resource management in the form of both time and ammo is an important element in this version of Doom.

The house rule I've seen bandied about that gives an ammo out with each weapon is a good one, however, and I'm going to make it an official variant for groups to play until they can/want to manage without it.

Anyhow, that being said, back to the tips...

4. Not Anticipating the Invader
After enough turns have gone by, you can pretty much assume that the invader player has been able to customize his hand into a lean, mean fragging machine. Don't put yourself into a situation where a single invader card will kill you. If you open a door and there are demons all over the place, don't walk inside by yourself unless you really enjoy being sealed in or know that you can take out the demons by yourself. DO put yourself into situations where the invader player will be tempted to spend his powerful cards to lesser effect. Unloading with a chainsaw against an already wounded demon is a good example of this. Odds are, if the invader dark energies the demon, it'll still die to your second attack, but many invaders will try to keep the demon alive anyway, ridding you of a dark energies card.

5. Leaving powerups behind.
Pick up everything in a quick, orderly fashion. The shotgun that you don't need and leave behind today is tomorrow's Not Quite'd armor token or grenade ammo. If you can pull it off without wasting too much time, always try to unlock the level's secrets. The end room of every scenario is usually extremely difficult, and a BFG works nicely to thin the herd.

And lastly, the most common mistake I see:

6. Forgetting to dodge and aim.
The difference between a squad that makes use of these two orders and a squad that doesn't is huge. Guard is not always your best option. When low on ammo, aiming will reduce your ammo use and make it more likely that every shot counts. When surrounded by invaders, dodging will prove incredibly more effective than guarding. Forcing re-rolls on your opponent is huge, since most often, wounds occur by the skin of their teeth. Even if the invader player uses a surprise attack on you to cancel out your dodge, you've still forced that card out of his hand, which is great. Always whittle down the invader's hand of cards.

Anyhow, I know I've given some of this advice before, but it's important enough to repeat a couple of times. Doom is a pretty easy-to-learn game, but there are plenty of tactical pitfalls that you can fall into. If your group is having a great deal of trouble as the marines, look and see what they did just before getting fragged. See if they've made any of these mistakes. If not, double-check the rules and make sure you haven't overlooked something important, like the melee weapon rules on pg. 10, or the fact that invaders must spawn out of line of sight, or the rule that the invader must discard down to 8 cards before playing any cards. If you've looked at all that and your marines are still getting creamed, well, there will be a difficulty mod soon. Until then, reduce your hand size a bit and give them more ammo. That should be enough to make a big difference.

-Kevin Wilson
Fantasy Flight Games
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Frank Branham
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Re:Equipment, ammo, and the number of Marines
KevinW (#74830),

Actually, I agree that the default difficulty is about correct, and the only variable that needs tweaking to make the game easier without destroying the feeling of urgency is ammo.

I do suspect that most people want to lower the difficulty level the first time they play. There is a learning curve in Doom that is trickier to learn than Space Hulk, and the Marines are rather harder to learn to play.

It is a plus over the D&D Boardgame, howerver. The first 2 scenarios are total cakewalks, bland to boot, and pretty much burned my players out on the game. The 4th dungeon and up are where that game gets interesting.

Doom did however tick them off because the game was too difficult for the marines.


 
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Eric Ernewein
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Re:Equipment, ammo, and the number of Marines
fbranham (#75207),

I'm glad there are hard games out there.
I keep reiterating, Space Hulk the first times i played it , totally friggin kicked my butt everywhere.

If players complain about the difficulty, encourage them to work together more and to form new strategies.

more often than not, something being "too strong" is the result of another player not anticipating something or just assuming that the game was built to have the player be heroic and win.

Kevin's tips are awesome, and should definatly be told to players if they have problems.

-e-
 
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Ben Newell
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Re:Equipment, ammo, and the number of Marines
KevinW (#74830),

Hello Kevin! I have to say, thank you for the great game, but I do have a couple of concerns about it. I've played six games so far. One with one marine player, one with two, and four with three. My observations with the game are as follows:
The two marine game seemed difficult for the marines, but it was everybody's first game, so I am inclined to disregard that one. However, the one marine game that we played next seemed much easier. It was a very fun match, and it felt like a good, albeit difficult, scenario for a game of Heroquest, or some other similar adventure game, where the gameplay is weighted in favor of the "good guys."

We have now tried to get through the first scenario with three marines on four separate occasions. We've traded off on who plays invader, so this isn't a case of one player outmatching the other three. Each time, the marines have been soundly stomped. They've never gotten into the last three areas, other than one short-lived desperation sprint that happened in the first match. Your advice is good, and I can see how it would have helped the marine side, but not to the point where it would have been a fair match. In all four games, the marines were obliterated.

You caution not to advance into a room alone, because the invader may shut the door. You caution not to wait for the perfect setup to advance. You caution not to slow yourself down by using the unload option often. You caution to make sure that the marines use dodge and aim, which is similar to unload in how it slows down the players. There's a lot of contradictory advice here, which all basically seems to boil down to "make sure you know all of your options and use whichever is appopriate."

Our group has discussed the games we played quite a bit, and we're really not sure how we could have had a marine win short of incompetence by the invader or a supreme set of luck for the marines.

We're going to try some house rules to toughen up the marines by giving them the two marine loadout. It's very frustrating to feel like we're "not getting" the game, when I think we're doing all of what you suggest with pretty good consistency. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. It feels like there's something we don't fundamentally understand, even though we've all read the rulebook, because the marine victory with three marines seems so unlikely.
 
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Re:Equipment, ammo, and the number of Marines
fbranham (#75207),

Doom did however tick them off because the game was too difficult for the marines.

I think the best 'crawl games are ones that piss the players off early. If forces them to start working as a team, which many players are loathe to do. Everyone likes to do things own way and it pisses them off when their way doesn't work for everyone-- which is why they get whacked!
 
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Ben Newell
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Re:Equipment, ammo, and the number of Marines
BradyLS (#76217),
You see, this is a nasty assumption that kinda annoys me. The games we've played of Doom, every one of them, have been HIGHLY collaborative. Nobody has gone off on their own, or played selfishly. Every move has been highly calculated by the marines for the best survivability of the team. We're talking group strategizing, noble but necessary sacrifices, etc. No marine wins. Even after we started playing with the "one ammo when you pick up a gun" house rule. Tonight, out of frustration, we're buffing the marines more substantially with another marine card, we'll see if that makes the difference.
 
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Kevin Wilson
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Re:Equipment, ammo, and the number of Marines
eosapien (#76968),

To clarify, I was just pointing out some tactics that might help out the marines. I wasn't implying that folks were necessarily playing badly. In any event, the difficulty cards should be done quite soon now, and I believe they will alleviate any further problems players might have.

-Kevin Wilson
Fantasy Flight Games
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Ben Newell
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Re:Equipment, ammo, and the number of Marines
KevinW (#76980),
I know you were, and I appreciated them, they were good advice for the marine team. Don't get me wrong, I love the game. That last comment wasn't refering to your post, just the guy who accused the marines of playing selfishly. It's a little frustrating when people say we're simply complaining, without having tried the three marine scenario first. We've been having a blast even with the perceived imbalance. The whole group is looking forward to the "difficulty cards"!
 
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