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Subject: Initiative Worries rss

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Henry Akeley
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I am very very excited for this game. So much so that when I saw the announcement I said to myself that's an insta-buy even if its $100 (its thankfully $80 MSRP). As someone who actually had the original Doom and had to sell it off due to my group hating it I hope this revamp will tickle my game group in the way the original did not.

Enter design changes stage left; I was enjoying reading through how things worked. It all sounds very sleek. The card based system actually sounds kind of nifty and sort of (I bet its not like this) reminds me of Fury of Dracula 3rd edition's card system but with a die roll. What bothered me was the initiative system. The fact that you flip cards over and that determines who goes when. This is a horrible mechanic I've experienced in Tiny Epic Defenders and really messes with the otherwise tactical depth this game introduces. Not to mention I think of the wear and tear on the cards (I'll sleeve my game just to avoid this but still).

Am I over-reacting to this one game mechanic? I feel like this is a big enough deal that it could really ruin some of my friend's initial feelings towards the game (I know one who likes very mechanized/strategic games). Any help here guys? I want to buy this game badly but that initiative mechanic......ugh. That might kill it all for me right there sadly. I hope not.
 
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Vayda
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It's a little early to start house ruling things since we haven't played it (I did play a demo at GenCon and it was great fun).

But....

You could do more of a Mice and Mystics thing where you deal out 6 or so cards on the table and play down the line. This adds a random order but a tactical approach to that randomized order (by knowing who is coming up in the next few plays).
You can either then draw a new soc cards or simply keep it a rolling amount face up (complete one, draw one).

I'm sure others will try team activations (Descent) and alternating activations (Imperial Assault) as well.

In any event, we have time to wait.
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Henry Akeley
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virferrorum wrote:
It's a little early to start house ruling things since we haven't played it (I did play a demo at GenCon and it was great fun).

But....

You could do more of a Mice and Mystics thing where you deal out 6 or so cards on the table and play down the line. This adds a random order but a tactical approach to that randomized order (by knowing who is coming up in the next few plays).
You can either then draw a new soc cards or simply keep it a rolling amount face up (complete one, draw one).

I'm sure others will try team activations (Descent) and alternating activations (Imperial Assault) as well.

In any event, we have time to wait.


Agreed. I know my OP may sound like a chicken little. However, its a minor mechanic like this that could really make or break it for me. Everything else looks verrry sleek. I will have to hold back and wait for a few reviews and gameplay videos to trickle through instead of buying on day 1 as was my original intent.
 
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Jonathan Ying
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Hi! I'm the designer!

Soooo, the initiative mechanic was one that we went back and forth on in development and I admit I had some apprehension about it myself. The game is designed so that it would be pretty easy to houserule alternating activations. There are also two Marine Classes that you can choose which give the marines greater control over the initiative deck. (One allows that player to always go first in the initiative order. And another allows a marine to rearrange a couple cards in the initiative order each round.) as well as a few Invader Event Cards that mess with the Initiative.

The mechanical reason for the initiative deck was to reduce the "down-time" of planning turns. It was noted that in both Descent and Imperial Assault a lot of groups would attempt to basically plan out full activation sequences ahead of time. At the top of each round there'd be a minute or more of the players just asking "Okay who should go first? Alright can you wait a round?" And it was decided that this sort of strategizing wasn't really on-theme for the run-and-gun nature of DOOM, where the rest of the game is about risk-reward tactics and aggressive plays.

Not to say that alternating activations wouldn't work fine, or the Mice & Mystics style that Vayda suggested. If it's worth anything I'd give my designer's blessing to try out what might work best for your group. I had suggested having some variant initiative styles into the rulebook but we were crunched for page-space as it was and it didn't make the cut.

Hope that was helpful! Good luck!
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Henry Akeley
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I appreciate the clarification and providing the rationale behind it. I agree it does help encourage the "run and gun" nature of Doom. Knowing there are some classes of marines and Invader mechanics that can manipulate the initiative deck to their preference is reassuring.

Thank you very much! One thing I like about BGG is the potential for direct interaction with the designer like right now. Definitely gave some confidence back to me in this stellar looking game! Great job.
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Keith Hammons
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Quoted for truth:

Fancymancer wrote:
It was noted that in both Descent and Imperial Assault a lot of groups would attempt to basically plan out full activation sequences ahead of time. At the top of each round there'd be a minute or more of the players just asking "Okay who should go first? Alright can you wait a round?"


Our group usually has exactly that issue with the Overlord/Imperial player usually telling us to hurry up and make a decision! I had a chance to demo Doom and it seemed like every design decision was made in service of streamlining and accelerating the gameplay (compared to IA and Descent). It was fast, brutal and fun, which fits the Doom IP to a T. For that reason and despite already owning Descent and IA, I'll be purchasing this one. I'm especially excited to try the superpowered 1 marine vs overlord player.
 
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Jonathan Ying
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Epidemius wrote:
One thing I like about BGG is the potential for direct interaction with the designer like right now.


Happy to help! Yeah I like BGG for that reason as well! Glad to help!


magicbus1966 wrote:
I had a chance to demo Doom and it seemed like every design decision was made in service of streamlining and accelerating the gameplay (compared to IA and Descent). It was fast, brutal and fun, which fits the Doom IP to a T. For that reason and despite already owning Descent and IA, I'll be purchasing this one. I'm especially excited to try the superpowered 1 marine vs overlord player.


Oh thank goodness. I was actually a bit anxious since this is one of the first years FFG just sent volunteers instead of designers to demo the new games. (Myself and Justin demo'ed Imperial Assault all day the year that was announced.) I'm glad to hear it went well!
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Jesse Carr
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Fancymancer wrote:
I'm especially excited to try the superpowered 1 marine vs overlord player.


Wait, is this an actual thing? A variant in the rulebook that was tested and everything?
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Daniel Davis - Personal
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Fancymancer wrote:
Hi! I'm the designer!


The mechanical reason for the initiative deck was to reduce the "down-time" of planning turns. It was noted that in both Descent and Imperial Assault a lot of groups would attempt to basically plan out full activation sequences ahead of time. At the top of each round there'd be a minute or more of the players just asking "Okay who should go first? Alright can you wait a round?" And it was decided that this sort of strategizing wasn't really on-theme for the run-and-gun nature of DOOM, where the rest of the game is about risk-reward tactics and aggressive plays.


Hope that was helpful! Good luck!


Everything you have done on this game makes it FFGs best one-versus-many game. DOOM blows Descent and all the others away. So good! You nailed it.
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Luke Jacobs
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Fancymancer wrote:

The mechanical reason for the initiative deck was to reduce the "down-time" of planning turns. It was noted that in both Descent and Imperial Assault a lot of groups would attempt to basically plan out full activation sequences ahead of time. At the top of each round there'd be a minute or more of the players just asking "Okay who should go first? Alright can you wait a round?" And it was decided that this sort of strategizing wasn't really on-theme for the run-and-gun nature of DOOM, where the rest of the game is about risk-reward tactics and aggressive plays.


Absolutely. Thanks for noticing and dealing with that.
 
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Casper Andersen
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WhiteRider27 wrote:
Fancymancer wrote:
I'm especially excited to try the superpowered 1 marine vs overlord player.


Wait, is this an actual thing? A variant in the rulebook that was tested and everything?


Well yes, the base rules assumes 4 Marines, but you get some cards to balance things for other player counts, these function knda like the class ccards giving some passive bonuses. The one Marine card gives him +5 health (taking it to 15), the ability to play two Main actions and an extra activation card for the intiative pile, so he will activate twice in a round and +1 hand size. The two player cards give the same bonuses but lower and the 3 player card just gives an extra main action (can't rememeber the full details). The end result is that the marines end up being able to do the same amount of Main actions at all player counts.

I have heard some grumbling that the solo marine is a bit OP, but haven't tried it yet. I like that 1 v 1 feels like the videogame.
 
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