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DOOM: The Board Game» Forums » General

Subject: Thoughts on "Infestation" Mode and the first mission. rss

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David Andersson
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I've been playing the missions in Doom off-book ("which of these missions, invader cards, monsters, classes, weapons appeal to everyone the most?") and finding that the game was really well balanced. The games came down to the wire.

But I kept seeing people say that the game was impossible for Invaders to win, and that opinion always seemed based on the first mission (Sample Collection, Infestation, Imp Assault)

So I played the mission as outlined in the book and...yeah that game wasn't even close. It seems like a few things contribute to that:
-Sample Collection becomes a game of tag that isn't very difficult for the Marines to win if they want to.
-Infestation gives you a limited number of Demons, like the Horde Threat. But unlike Horde, you only get a new wave of monsters once the previous wave has ended.
-Imp Assault seems like a less powerful Invasion Card than others.

None of these factors are necessarily bad on their own, but it seems like they coalesce here into an unwinable situation for the Invaders. This might be the point since it's the first mission, but idk.

I like the idea of Infestation Mode. It feels like an actual dungeon crawl. And a quick, streamlined dungeon crawl mode would be awesome in this game if it's as well-balanced as everything else.

So my suggestion would be some sort of special environmental hazards that the Invader could control. Something like Level 7 has, but with a Doom theme: Moving walls, exploding barrels, radiation, maybe some key-hunting aspect that forces Marines to backtrack and expose themselves to danger. Not sure how they would work mechanically, maybe just special Infestation cards that are fueled by Argent.

CONCLUSION
I'm not sure which part of this mission is broken (Objective, Threat, Invasion), but fortunately there are dozens of other Objective, Threat, and Invasion cards that seem very well balanced based on my experience.

I'd be curious to know what the designer thinks. I might have just had a really bad game and need to look at everything more, but my previous games were won and lost at the last moment, so I find it hard to believe that this mission was just played terribly by the Invader.
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Callin Flores
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Played this mission last. Ought as the invader and got utterly destroyed, zero frags. We didn't even decide to finish it. Can someone suggest a better first play scenario?
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The first hell map in the book which is where the marines have to move an objective token across the board has been my favorite so far as the demons.
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David Andersson
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Dearborn wrote:
Played this mission last. Ought as the invader and got utterly destroyed, zero frags. We didn't even decide to finish it.


What did you think of the other Sample Collection or Infestation missions?
 
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Jonathan Ying
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davidryanandersson wrote:

I'd be curious to know what the designer thinks.


AND SO I HAVE BEEN SUMMONED.

So, I think it's fair to say after a good amount of time that the first mission is a problem, and I think Davids post is accurate to many of my own thoughts as to why. The game saw a great deal of testing but as with many of these types of games (Imperial Assault and Descent included), it could have done with more. I believe there were some late changes to the overall mission formula (More health packs in general etc.) that were responsible for altering the balance somewhat, they made the later missions more balanced but the sweeping change seemed to have messed up the first one. Whoops.

There's also elements including the fact that the Chainsaw is astonishingly effective against Imps and the map has some pretty close quarters. The choice of Imp Assault was largely made so that the Invader would have a smaller array of demons to work with and not have to worry about an enormous number of demon types.

Suffice to say mistakes were made during the development of this mission. The removal of the early health pack would probably be good. And increasing the strength of certain portals would be good. There's a lot of vectors that could alter the balance of the mission.

My simplest soft-nerf balancing is that the Invader should remove 2-3 weapon/health packs from the map at the start of the mission.

I might also consider making any demons ADJACENT to the priority Target immune to glory kills as well, but that would be closer to true errata.

At any rate, I apologize for the poor balancing of the first mission. My bad.
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This is my favorite thing about BGG.
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Richard Sipos
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I'd like to know what strategy some of you are using because if you can't get a single frag then you must be doing something wrong.I've played the first mission a few times now with different groups and I usually manage 4 or 5 frags. In the end I'll still lose but I kind of expect that out of the first mission. I usually focus all of my attacks on a single marine, and if available, try to stun them first. I always load up on argent and make full use of event cards I have each round. The fact that you can get 2 revenants on the board should mean you should get at least 2 frags out of them if powered with argents and you're not ridiculously unlucky.
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David Andersson
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Slamminrytch wrote:
I'd like to know what strategy some of you are using because if you can't get a single frag then you must be doing something wrong.I've played the first mission a few times now with different groups and I usually manage 4 or 5 frags. In the end I'll still lose but I kind of expect that out of the first mission. I usually focus all of my attacks on a single marine, and if available, try to stun them first. I always load up on argent and make full use of event cards I have each round. The fact that you can get 2 revenants on the board should mean you should get at least 2 frags out of them if powered with argents and you're not ridiculously unlucky.


The big issue I ran into was that there are so many imps in REALLY tight spaces that it's almost impossible for Marines to avoid glory killing every single one. Damage would roll off them. Then the Marines just sprinted into the final area and focus-fired down the final priority target (which was an Imp. Maybe not the best decision).

I should also maybe mention I was playing this map with 2 "veteran" marines.
 
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Tyroki Taylor
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It's not that Imp Assault is bad, but there is a perfect storm of mediocre options for the Invader on that first map. No other map has problems like this, it's literally just the first one.

Buuuuut once you start not playing the missions with whats suggested, the first mission is possible to win as the Invader. An absolute bastard (hence why I call it challenge mode), but doable.
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David Andersson
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Tyroki wrote:
It's not that Imp Assault is bad, but there is a perfect storm of mediocre options for the Invader on that first map. No other map has problems like this, it's literally just the first one.

Buuuuut once you start not playing the missions with whats suggested, the first mission is possible to win as the Invader. An absolute bastard (hence why I call it challenge mode), but doable.


Yeah, I wanted to make this thread so that new players would know not to start with Mission 1, or if they did start with Mission 1 and felt that the game was broken they could see that it's not true.
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Jordan S.
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I wonder how much simply swapping out the Chainsaw for the Chaingun or Gauss Rifle might affect the mission's balance. As others have stated, I think the cramped quarters and heavy Imp-count combined with the effectiveness of the Chainsaw may be the biggest reason for the Invader having a tough time. I may have to try that the next time I set up the mission.

My last time playing it, I lost but I did manage 3 frags (and almost got a 4th), so it's certainly an uphill battle...but getting 0 frags seems like the Invader must have had some really terrible luck with dice, cards and activations.
 
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Ian Summerfield
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Me and my group played this one a while back with me as the Invader. Essentially, up until that point we had only played the tutorial, so we were as new as could be. As Invader, I did quite well, scoring about 5 frags, and nearly got a 6th. But I'd probably peg this down to poor teamwork (my group sucks at this) and deciding to not go for the Chainsaw right away for fear of what lurked within the Red Portal. Their cautiousness is what caused them to do so poorly (Guess some Descent was still locked in their brains).

I like the idea of Map 1, but as-is, it could be a bother for the Invader. I'd concur that maybe ditching the chainsaw could help improve balance in the map. It was certainly closer in our game when the marines didn't use it.
 
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Fancymancer wrote:
So, I think it's fair to say after a good amount of time that the first mission is a problem, and I think Davids post is accurate to many of my own thoughts as to why. The game saw a great deal of testing but as with many of these types of games (Imperial Assault and Descent included), it could have done with more. I believe there were some late changes to the overall mission formula (More health packs in general etc.) that were responsible for altering the balance somewhat, they made the later missions more balanced but the sweeping change seemed to have messed up the first one. Whoops.

There's also elements including the fact that the Chainsaw is astonishingly effective against Imps and the map has some pretty close quarters. The choice of Imp Assault was largely made so that the Invader would have a smaller array of demons to work with and not have to worry about an enormous number of demon types.

Suffice to say mistakes were made during the development of this mission. The removal of the early health pack would probably be good. And increasing the strength of certain portals would be good. There's a lot of vectors that could alter the balance of the mission.

My simplest soft-nerf balancing is that the Invader should remove 2-3 weapon/health packs from the map at the start of the mission.

I might also consider making any demons ADJACENT to the priority Target immune to glory kills as well, but that would be closer to true errata.

At any rate, I apologize for the poor balancing of the first mission. My bad.

Thanks for your reply, Jonathan. I must say that I immensely enjoy this game from a gameplay perspective, but my enjoyment has been a little dampened by the balance problems, especially regarding the first mission and / or playing against a solo marine. However, I sadly was also expecting this based on my experience with Descent 2nd Edition and Imperial Assault.

The balance problems I encountered with DOOM were during plays of the first and the second mission. For reference, here is the loadout and result for these plays:

E1M1: Knee Deep in the Dead
Invasion Card: Imp Assault
Event Deck: Power Overwhelming, Seek and Destroy, Armored Offensive
Marine Setup (1 Marine):
- Close Combat Specialist with Combat Shotgun & Super Shotgun
Marine Victory (2 Frag Tokens)

E1M1: Knee Deep in the Dead
Invasion Card: Out of the Abyss
Event Deck: Blood Rush, Seek and Destroy, Savage Strength
Marine Setup (1 Marine):
- Heavy Assault with Combat Shotgun & Super Shotgun
Marine Victory (3 Frag Tokens)

E1M1: Knee Deep in the Dead
Invasion Card: Out of the Abyss
Event Deck: Blood Rush, Seek and Destroy, Savage Strength
Marine Setup (4 Marines):
- Requisitions Officer with Burst Rifle & Hologram
- Medic with Burst Rifle & Static Rifle
- Security Specialist with Combat Shotgun & Plasma Rifle
- Stealth Operative with Heavy Assault Rifle & Plasma Rifle
Marine Victory (1 Frag Token)

E1M2: Molten Retrieval
Invasion Card: Deadly Force
Event Deck: Blood Rush, Savage Strength, Armored Offensive
Marine Setup (1 Marine):
- Close Combat Specialist with Combat Shotgun & Burst Rifle
Marine Victory (1 Frag Token
)

In each of these games I tried to use Argent Power / stun effects / additional attacks / Initiative deck reordering optimally, but at no point did I feel that I have a good chance of winning. Many demons were killed before they could activate. The marine(s) also used the teleporters to pop in and out for attacking, leaving my demons standing around.
I remember a particular situation when playing the second mission, where I summoned a Mancubus and a Baron of Hell to kill the single marine (which I did), but my Mancubus was then slaughtered and the Baron of Hell was disposed of in the following activation, because the Marine at that point dealt about 8 damage with a single attack (ironically, with the Rocket Launcher as a Close Combat Specialist). The mission ended because the marine eventually killed all of my demons ...

Do we have an ETA for some official errata tackling the balance problems?
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Jonathan Ying
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sighlance wrote:

Do we have an ETA for some official errata tackling the balance problems?



I'm afraid I don't have that information but I promise people are working on it. Particularly the Marines dancing back & forth through portals will almost certainly be addressed in the next FAQ/Errata but other than that I'm afraid I can't say much.
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Second game I've played with a different group and I got the same response from all players::: the game is not balanced right and it is outright boring to play marines.

All games were 1v3 and we played missions 1 and 3, mission 1 easy victory for marines and mission 3 fairly easy for the invasion player.

I don't know what to do with this game, I still kind of like it but at rate I'm losing potential players I'm afraid it'll just go on the shelf...
 
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Edd Allard
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Jonathon, we played mission #1 twice with two marines. We ran into the same problem as everyone else the first time we played it. We decided to nerf the marines by removing the first med kit and the chainsaw (we didn't replace it with any other weapon). The second game, the marines won again, but it was much closer (I don't recall exactly, but I think the demons scored 7 frags, and both marines were within a couple of hit points of fragging again. I think removing one more med kit might have made the difference (although the extra hit points for Combat Veteran and the instant recovery for each glory kill still made the marines pretty tough). Thanks for weighing in here!
 
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David Andersson
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edralla wrote:
The second game, the marines won again, but it was much closer (I don't recall exactly, but I think the demons scored 7 frags


You only need 6 frags to win.
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David Andersson
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Nofunatalll wrote:
Second game I've played with a different group and I got the same response from all players::: the game is not balanced right and it is outright boring to play marines.


I would suggest trying some modes besides Infestation. I think Horde with Guard Duty is really tight and Assault is a lot of fun with some interesting decisions to make.
 
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Boyd G
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Greetings,

Just played this mission with some mates (3 vs 1) as our first game and the whole time felt like perhaps we were handling spawning invaders wrong and after reading this post we must have been because I as the invader player won and quite easily, so I'm hoping someone can help me out and let me know if we were playing correctly or have gone wrong somewhere, spent ages going through the rules and couldn't find anything that contradicted what we were doing so maybe it was just luck on my part as the marines never got to pick up the chainsaw.

So the way we interpreted spawning invaders was during the status phase I would spawn the required number of invaders on each portal currently activated. Activating new portals as doors were opened I.e 3 imps on each blue portal so by around 3/4 through the game would end up spawning 3 imps in 3 or so different locations around the map and which let to constantly running out of imps to spawn if the marines did not kill enough in the previous round, same for revenants and so fourth.

Did we do this wrong? Are you only supposed to spawn from 1 blue portal and you just choose which one you spawn from? Or do you only ever spawn from each portal once and that's it? These are the only alternatives I could think of that would prevent the invaders from flooding the board and running out of minis to put into the board.

I'm sorry if this is hijacking your thread but I thought I'd ask as playing the way we did allowed the invaders to win easily which sounds like is not meant to be the case.

Also I have one other quick question I'm hoping so wove can help with, . The invader player has 6 event cards in a hand that they can look at, is there a limit to how many of these can played during their turn? Marines are limited to a main action and a bonus action? Invader cards army labeled as such so am I correct in thinking an invader could just play all 6 cards in one go if possible? And then draw another 6 from the event deck? Or is it that once you have used all 6 you cannot collect more until the next stays phase?

Sorry for so many questions, pleas let me know if I need to more this post elsewhere.

Thank you kindly for any assistance any one can provide.
 
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I'm on mobile so I'm just addressing the big one:

Boydeymcnerd wrote:

... Or do you only ever spawn from each portal once and that's it? These are the only alternatives I could think of that would prevent the invaders from flooding the board and running out of minis to put into the board.
.


That would have been correct. See the rulebook:

RR, page 18, Summoning Demons wrote:
5. Discard Portal Token: After the invader places each figure in his chosen invasion group on the map, he discards the portal unless instructed otherwise.


And the Infestation card does not instruct otherwise.
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David Andersson
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Boydeymcnerd wrote:
Greetings,
Or do you only ever spawn from each portal once and that's it? These are the only alternatives I could think of that would prevent the invaders from flooding the board and running out of minis to put into the board.


Yeah, like the previous poster said, according to the rules you can only spawn from a portal once and then immediately remove it from the board. The only exception to this is Assault Mode, which specifically says that you never discard portals, you just flip them facedown.

If you were summoning from every portal every time a door was opened that would be...well half the monsters in the game all at once

This means that in Infestation Mode the Marines travel through different sections of the map at a time, and every time they enter a new section (by opening a door) all the monsters in that section are revealed. The idea is that the map is "infested" with monsters and you're exploring the map discovering them all.

Boydeymcnerd wrote:

Also I have one other quick question I'm hoping so wove can help with, . The invader player has 6 event cards in a hand that they can look at, is there a limit to how many of these can played during their turn? Marines are limited to a main action and a bonus action? Invader cards army labeled as such so am I correct in thinking an invader could just play all 6 cards in one go if possible? And then draw another 6 from the event deck? Or is it that once you have used all 6 you cannot collect more until the next stays phase?


The only limitation on Event Cards is that you can't play multiples of the same card at the same time. And you're correct that Invader ONLY draws new cards at the next status phase. So the six cards in your hand are all you'll have for the whole round.
 
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Boyd G
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Thank you so much, that makes way more sense. Can't believe we missed that in the the rule book. Your all a bunch of legends.. Cheers!
 
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Joan Scarlett
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Really quick:
Am I interpreting the interactions within the rules correctly for this mission so that if the marines end a round without any demons on the board there are no initiative cards for the keeper next status phase, so when the demons spawn that round don't get a turn the rest of the round?
 
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David Andersson
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Hydralisk5201 wrote:
Really quick:
Am I interpreting the interactions within the rules correctly for this mission so that if the marines end a round without any demons on the board there are no initiative cards for the keeper next status phase, so when the demons spawn that round don't get a turn the rest of the round?


Yes. This is an issue people have had with Infestation mode. The Marines can easily wander the map and prep before the next section. Although you can still trash cards for Argent tokens each round even if you have no demons, but that's not a huge deal.
 
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davidryanandersson wrote:
Hydralisk5201 wrote:
Really quick:
Am I interpreting the interactions within the rules correctly for this mission so that if the marines end a round without any demons on the board there are no initiative cards for the keeper next status phase, so when the demons spawn that round don't get a turn the rest of the round?


Yes. This is an issue people have had with Infestation mode. The Marines can easily wander the map and prep before the next section. Although you can still trash cards for Argent tokens each round even if you have no demons, but that's not a huge deal.

You didn't address the "rest of the round" bit.

Yes, as long as there are no demons on the board, the Marines don't have a fear in the world * (at least after the demon player has accumulated a "ridiculously large pile" of Argent tokens on the Invasion card), and yes there are only Marine cards in the Initiative deck.

But!

Infestation wrote:
At the end of that marine's activation, shuffle 1 invader initiative cards into the remaining intitiative deck for each demon type that was summoned and was not already on the map.


With Infestation, summoning happens always on Marine turn (sans the summoning during setup). As you can see from the Infestation card, new demon types get added to the Initiative deck immediately, and thus the new demon types get to activate this round.

EDIT: * Not taking Infernal Sorcery's Death Curse into account, and the fact that while the Marines can setup perfect hands, so can the demon player (in the time permitted by the Marines), of course
 
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