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Doom: Hurt Me Plenty Edition

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So, I have some thoughts on how to add to the game of DOOM in order to give the Invader a slight edge... After all, shouldn’t the edge be in favor of the Invader? Shouldn’t the marines, even the legendary Doomslayer (a.k.a. the infamous ‘Solo Operative’), feel at least a little threatened and challenged by the forces of **** pouring through these portals?

My first idea is a shot directly at the ‘handicap’ squad cards; the ‘Solo Operative’ and ‘Combat Veteran’ cards in particular (I don’t have much experience with the ‘Taking Point’ three-man squad card). My suggestion? Ditch them altogether. Just throw them out. Use 4 initiative cards as if you were playing a regular 4 marine player game and assign the marines an equal share of initiatives and have them activate normally: 1 main action, 3 card hand size, unlimited bonus actions, no health bonus.

Second idea. Cover. Ignore the gamble of drawing a second defense card. This seems a little dumb to me. Cover should provide a confirmed benefit, not a “maybe.” Instead have cover grant a static bonus to defense. +1 or even +2. Simple, no gamble, and worthwhile for both sides.

Third. No more auto Glory Kills. This one I’m still back and forth on... I like the Glory Kill system and I love how it captured the essence of the 2016 Doom video game, but, as the Invader player, it just really really sucks that demons can just be autokilled by moving into their space, basically allowing a marine to deal 1-2 free damage by moving.  I say keep the system as it is but with one add-on: attach a die roll to it. Roll one red die, if you roll any damage results the Glory Kill was successful, if the die is blank, not so much and you get pushed into a legal adjacent space (at no cost to movement, Invader’s choice).

Portals and the unending hordes... This one was inspired by a similar idea posted in BoardGameGeek. Portals aren’t discarded after they’re activated... every round they’re active, they summon. The limit of demons summoned is the miniature population (e.g. only two Barons can ever exist at one time because there are only two Baron minis). A marine can deactivate (discard) a portal by moving into its space. In the case of portal ‘stacks’, multiple portals can be active in a stack but have to be activated/deactivated sequentially. The Assualt threat card is the exception to this.

I like this one because it keeps pressure on the marine players by making the threat that much more, well, threatening and forces them to try do something about the hordes in addition to the scenario objectives, curbing the sometimes cavalier attitude a marine can seem to have towards the invaders while also putting a pin in the “win by default” condition that exists because a marine can choose to ignore objectives and just slaughter the invader’s finite forces. Coming from an RPG background, having the occasional minion slaughter-house is fun and all... in a campaign-based game where the DM is on the side of the players more often than not, but I was under the impression this was a competitive one-vs.-many combat game where the “DM” is SUPPOSED to be out to get the players. This rule change idea, however, does have the potential of tipping the scale too far in favor of the invader so it needs some serious testing and may be the “Nightmare!” difficulty.

Next, frag resets. Maybe when a marine is fragged he doesn’t keep all his cool Glory Kill cards and special weapons he picked up? Seems like dying isn’t that big of a deal for a marine. Sure, the invader gets a frag token, but the marine respawns exactly as he was before? Full health, fully armed, extra GK cards, and all that? “Devil may care” indeed.

Lastly, lower the victory requirements by the number of marines missing. With four targets running around, an Invader has a few options for different targets. The frags come a lot easier when the squad is fuller because the flow of the game isn’t broken up when a marine is fragged. For example, if a cadre of 5 imps activates and  3 manage to kill the marine in a 1v1 game, those other 2 imps are wasted actions. And if other demon groups activate before the marine respawns, they’re equally wasted. With a fuller board, those demons could have been utilized focusing on another target, possibly scoring another frag, instead of sitting on their thumbs. By lowering the frag requirement, the Invader has a more reasonable goal to meet with the restrictions available (less targets to chase).

Anyway, those are some of my thoughts on the matter. Let me know what you think. I used the first one (ditching the Solo Op card) tonight and it worked out pretty good in a 1v1... As the Invader I still lost, but I actually scored 4 frags in the Knee Deep In The Dead mission. Very surprising as the last time I played that mission 1v1 (using vanilla rules) as the Invader I don’t think I even scored 1 frag.

Edited by Nominrath

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I played four games so far (as the invader against a 4 player team) and it's becoming a real moral dampener when I can't manage to reach four frags in unless they play recklessly. I feel Marines should have a stagger value to give them a reason no to just hop on every Demon like Mario with goombas.


I like these additions and the more I play the more I feel like rewriting the Tutorial and Reference books into one without changes and another with clarifications and additional rules.

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