Doom: The Boardgame
List Price: $59.95
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The Union Aerospace Corporation, an arm of the most powerful conglomerate on Earth, was performing secret experiments in their base on Mars. Tapping into the very fabric of the universe itself, UAC scientists made discoveries that would forever change human existence.
Then something went terribly wrong...
With Doom: the Boardgame, Fantasy Flight Games brings one of the most famous computer games of all time to the tabletop. Marine players explore darkened corridors and rooms battling imps, hell knights, archviles, and other classic Doom monsters, while the Monster player tries to bring them down using the legion of horrors at his command. Doom: The Boardgame includes more than 60 finely detailed plastic miniatures, the largest of which stands approximately 80mm tall, and features weapons, monsters, and graphics taken from the best-selling Doom 3 computer game.
Always fun to shoot an afternoon away with this game. And you can easily get new people in on the fun, while explaining the rules as the game progresses. I grabbed this game on a whim and I've loved it since.
The game instantly grabs your attention with amazing miniatures, and a great way to get the maze running and gunning feel of Doom into a board game. You build the maze as th marines advance, and one player (Me in my gaming group) plays as the demons and has plenty of tricks in his sleeves, from ammo destroying to spawning demons everywhere. It seems like too much at first, but you soon realize the marine specialty cards more than make up for it.
The flow of the game is fast paced, keeping the marines on their toes, unknowing of what the invader player is planning and what lies behind the next door. I can't rave about this game enough.
The only thing holding me from giving it a 5, and it might seem silly, is that it uses the Doom3 demon figures instead of the old school demons. It may seem silly, but I've been playing Doom I and Doom II since I was a little guy, and I find that would have made the experience even more fantastic, maybe an expansion with the miniatures in it? Very much worth a buy, a great game for 4 players!
I bought Doom with some trepidation wondering if it would be a real BOARD GAME or a roleplay/boardgame experience. For a starter I would say the price tag is good considering the quality of the figures that come in it. They are excellent. I have in fact painted them up and they look awesome,really nasty. for the marines however I do use other games figures for an individual touch.
The players have yet to make it through the first scenario it is true (at least without running out of frags) so a little tweaking is necessary but I don't see why this minor setback should inhibit the game. The players find it frustrating but challenging and want more of it so what can I say don't expect it to be easy those out there who are slating doom for being hard. Plus your players need to work together or they are DOOOOMMMED.
My serious suggestion is get some undercoat (car primer or the like) and paint the monsters up and this will improve the games feel a lot. Just paint the colour on the base.
Finally I will be getting the expansion set when I get round to it.
These people are playing the game wrong.
Anyone who finds the gameplay experience to be too unbalanced or easy for either side can incorporate any of the rule or difficulty options indicated on Fantasy Flight Games' website
It is obvious the game’s designers thought of how the game could emulate the thrill and fear that the DOOM III environment tried to evoke; they made the boardgame as breathtaking as possible given the medium it was made for. They succeeded. Any fans of the DOOM series that enjoy boardgames certainly could do worse than getting a copy of this game.
Now with the expansion, the game gets even better. So don't listen to these people that dont do the research on the web and figure out how to better their game.
Doom The Board Game is a very fun game. The panic the satisfaction of a being hunted and killing your enemies makes a great pressure for strategic thinking. The game itself is very flexible, custom scenarios and custom rules are very welcomed and in some situation needed.
When playing the one playing the invader must keep in mind that they are the Game Master. They determine the fun level of the game. Yea it is fun to blow away the marines just by constantly pouring on monsters and destroying their arsenal and equipment but when only one out of four people is having fun it’s no good.
So bend the rules a little bit. Yes this means there is some balancing problem with the game but hey it’s fixable. Rarely have I experienced the marines kicking the invaders.
This game will take time to play (took me 3 hours average). While players busy planning how to spoil the Invaders plans set aside the stuff for the next room they might enter, makes the game faster. Add and remove items (and monsters) according to the marines’ status.
Finally I recommend this game to all who love team strategy and Role Playing Games but just don’t have the time to create characters, stories, and such.
Doom was certainly an innovative game in its time, and each incarnation of it has delighted fans. I’ve only played the first two, but I remember being impressed by the dark corridors, a little nervous at what might appear next. But is it possible to translate a first-person shooter (FPS) to a board game? Steve Jackson Games attempted it with Frag, which was merely a mediocre game - and certainly not worth the price of the game. When I first heard about Doom: the Board Game, I was curious to see if a board game could actually catch the feeling of a FPS.
After playing the game, I am tremendously impressed - this is one of the best games Fantasy Flight has put out yet, on so many levels. The miniatures are beyond good; they are absolutely fantastic, as are all the components. The game plays extremely well, has massive replayability, and is fun and involving. And one feature I really enjoyed was that the person who plays the bad guys isn’t necessarily a “dungeon master”, but rather a player in the game with a fair chance of winning. Doom: the board game is a blast to play, and will provide countless hours of fun for me and my gaming groups.
One person plays the part of demonic invaders that have invaded a Marine space station. One to three other players control Marines in the base, who must accomplish some goal, usually getting out of the base! The invader selects a scenario from the scenario guide (or off the internet), and sets up the first room, placing the marines on their starting locations, and placing anything else that might be in the first room. Each marine player takes a cheat sheet (showing monster and weapon statistics), and one marine equipment bin. On the equipment bin, the marine player places armor tokens, wound tokens, and shells/bullets tokens. (numbers determined by the amount of marine players) A deck of marine cards is shuffled and some are dealt to each player (two or three), giving that marine some advantages in the game. The invader player takes a deck of invader cards, shuffles them, and draws five to start the hand off. All other tokens, monster figures, and boards are placed near the invader player to help him set up the scenario. The marine’s take their turn first, and play alternates between them and the invader.
On each Marine’s turn, they have four different actions/options. They can
- Sprint: Move up to eight spaces (diagonally or orthogonally), but cannot attack. Marines cannot move through enemy figures, obstacles, or walls. Opening or closing a door costs two movement points, while giving a piece of equipment to another marine costs one movement point.
- Advance: Move up to four spaces and make one attack - at any point before, during, or after the move. To make an attack, the marine chooses any weapon they currently have (all marines start with pistol, fist, and grenades) and that they have at least one ammo counter for. Player rolls the dice associated with that weapon (there are four different colored dice, each with different stats) - for example the Chain Gun causes the Marine to roll two green dice and one red die. After the dice are rolled, players look at three different things. First, they add up the numbers shown on all the dice. If the total sum is equal to or greater than the distance to the target, then the attack succeeds. If any of the dice show an “X”, however; then the attack is a total miss, regardless of range. On a hit, the marine then checks the number of bullet holes shown on the dice to determine damage, dividing that number by the armor stat of the creature attacked. The resulting number is the amount of wounds dealt to the creature. If this doesn’t kill the creature, removing it from the board, then counters are placed next to the creature, showing its wounds. Finally, the marine checks to see if there are any bullet silhouettes on the dice. If there are, the player must discard one token of that type of ammunition.
- Unload: Make two attacks, but cannot move.
- Ready: May attack OR move four spaces. The player then places one marine special order token next to their marine. The tokens are aim (allowing attacks next turn to re-roll dice); guard (allowing opportunity fire); dodge (forcing attacks against the marine to re-roll the dice); and heal (heal one hit point - useable only by a marine with the special ability: Medic).
After the Marines take their turn, the invader draws one card from their deck for each marine in the game. The invader can then play one “spawn” card, placing the enemies shown on the cards on spaces that the marines cannot see. After this, the invader player activates each creature on the board, moving and/or attacking with them. Invaders move and attack just like the marines - except that different invaders have different attack values, special abilities, etc. The invader player may play cards from their hand whenever the card allows but only one “spawn” card per turn. Whenever a marine is “fragged”, they keep weapons, but lose all other accumulated health and armor, going back to their starting totals. The marine respawns in an already discovered space, eight to sixteen spaces away from where they died.
Every time the marines enter a new room, the invader sets it up, placing the enemies and equipment shown on the scenario sheet. Sometimes different events happen, etc. - which the invader player reads to the marines, sort of like a dungeon master. The marine players must complete the mission requirements (usually get out the final door) to win the game. The invader player must score six frags to win the game, and every time they draw the last card from their invader deck, it counts as a “frag”. Players can string several scenarios together if they want, forming a campaign.
Some comments on the game...
1.) Components: The components for Doom are hands-down the best components of any Fantasy Flight game, and some of the best of any board game, period. The plastic figures are tremendous! They come in three different colors and are of various shapes and sizes. The final boss figure, the Cyberdemon, is about ten times the size of the marines and looks rather impressive on the board. The figures are just dying to be painted, but because they come in different colors and the models are so large, it’s not necessary. The counters in the game are quite thick, double sided, and very easy to use and handle. When placed on the board, they are very indicative of what they do (health token, weapon token, etc.) - especially to someone who is used to first person shooters. The cards of high quality and four large reference sheets are included to show the statistics for each gun and monster. The boards are impressive - enough are included to form huge levels - and larger than most people’s tables. The scenario levels included with the game were so large that I finally dismantled parts of them that were no longer in use, to better facilitate ease of play. The floorboards were probably my only minor annoyance of the game (and I mean extremely minor) in that they sometimes were a bit of a pain to fit together (like a puzzle piece). The doors were cardboard tokens held in plastic stands that, when added to the plastic figures and tokens, really presented a striking game. When playing the game, the “wow” factor is quite evident. Teenage boys will literally drool when seeing the pieces, and those of us who love toy factor will be extremely enamored. There are so many components shoved into the thematically-decorated box that it barely all fits in. In fact, I used a fishing tackle box to better sort the pieces, placing only the boards and large creatures in the box. It uses up more room on my shelves, but really helps the Invader player quickly set up scenarios.
2.) Dice: I really enjoy the dice included with the game - the concept behind them was really neat. Each color die added a different flavor to the gun. Green dice deal little damage, but add range; blue dice add damage, but almost no range; yellow dice add a greater chance of expending ammo, and the red die adds a lot of everything, but a greater chance of missing. The dice add luck to the game, sure - but knowing what gun to use and when is a key strategy for the marines; and they will have to keep their wits about them to win the game.
3.) Rules: Wonderful rules are included with the game. The large, twelve-page rulebook features piles of illustrations and full-color examples. Everything was clearly formatted and explained, and we had little to no questions during the game. The scenarios book was equally nice, making everything a snap for the invader player to set up. On the back of BOTH booklets was a summary of the special abilities of each gun, along with a summary of game play. Game play was intuitive for every player I’ve introduced the game too.
4.) Computer gamers: The game is obviously targeted towards computer gamers; and after seeing Kevin Wilson’s work in this game and Warcraft, I can think of no one better to do the job. Sure, not every facet of the first person shooter can be translated to the game board; but the job is incredibly well done, and the game is far superior to anything else on the market currently (i.e. Frag). I think most fans of the computer game will be incredibly pleased; and if the teenagers in my school are a good representation, they should be fanatical about the game. If ever there was a board game to suck kids away from the computers, this one is it.
5.) Heroquest, etc: The game immediately reminded me of games usually involving a “Dungeon Master” (DM). Some have compared the game to Space Hulk, others to Heroquest, etc. The game definitely has a feel like that, and the invader player can certainly play that role if they wish. But this is the first game that has stricter rules for the invader but fair enough to allow the invader to win. The invader seems to have an easy task - with hordes of minions at their disposal and piles of evil action cards. But an astute, TEAMWORKING team of marines can prevail. Some (many) have complained about the marines having a hard time; and indeed, the game isn’t easy. However, many of the players playing the game told me that they loved the challenge of the marines, and that it kept the game fascinating. Also, Fantasy Flight put up some rules on their web page that allow players to “adjust” the difficulty levels - making it easier or (Heaven help us!) harder. Players can be as masochistic as they want or as wimpy as they want. Either way, if the invader player likes to role-play (as I do), they can do so easily, or they can play competitively with a good chance of losing. There’s also some question as to how to play the bad guys. Should you just move them mindlessly towards the marines, or can they work as a team, just like the marines are doing?
6.) Special abilities: Each gun has special abilities such as attacking all adjacent enemies (the chainsaw), blowing through enemies to hit those behind them (shotgun), etc. Several of the aliens also have interesting abilities. These abilities, combined with the special cards that marines get at the beginning of the game, can produce many varied outcomes. Not only that, but the scenarios allow customization of weapons even further (if I want to put in a chainsaw that can be thrown at enemies, I can.) The game is just begging for expansions - let’s hope to see some.
7.) Theme: The theme is very involving, but for some it may be too much. Some of the floors have big splatters of blood on them - the “demons” and such may be too much for the younger crowd. I wouldn’t recommend the game to anyone who is elementary school level or who might have a problem with drawn blood or demons. We found it quite entertaining, but I thought I should bring this to the attention of anyone who might be offended.
8.) Fun Factor and Time: The game is obviously not going to appeal to everyone - my wife for example wouldn’t think twice about playing it. At the same time, there is a large group of people who will have a total blast playing it. The time of each game varies according to scenario, but our games have rounded out to about two hours. Those are two hours of action-packed fun, however, with almost no downtime and a lot of shouts and cheers. If your marine dies - who cares! - just respawn him and keep on going. The game is intense, and the marines have to keep moving to survive; but it’s oh-so-fun. Of all the games I’ve introduced to my board gaming club in the last year, this one has drawn in more new gamers than any other - even Heroscape! Kids are begging me to bring this game out every game club now, and it runs nonstop the whole time with kids waiting to jump in. But even with a group of adults, we had a rollicking good time. Doom is not the most strategic game I’ve ever played (although I would argue that there’s a lot of tactical decisions in the game), but it sure is fun!
Doom: the Boardgame won’t make my top ten games - it’s fun, entertaining, but still fairly light; but it’s a game I’ll gladly play whenever we’re in a shoot-‘em-up mood, and that happens a lot. It has brought more kids into my game club, which is always a good thing; and the component quality is extremely high, making the game a delight to bring to the table. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea; but it’s mine, and an enjoyable game. I rank it “9” out of “10”; and if you’re looking for a good computer-to-a-board game, or a good “dungeon-crawl” game, then this is the answer. No need to bemoan the lack of availability of Space Hulk - we have a modern classic. It even plays well with only two players! If Fantasy Flight keeps cranking out winners like this game, they will dominate the industry. Fun, thematic, and toy-heavy - all found in this fascinating game.
“Real men play board games.”
I would like to thank Gattmeister, and urge all of you to listen to his advice. Last October when I wrote my one star review of Doom:The Boardgame, Fantasy Flight did not have their difficulty settings Mod posted. Upon following Gattmeister's advice and twitching the rules a bit, I find the game much more balanced and enjoyable. As I said in my original review, I loved the theme of the game and just wanted it to work better. NOW IT DOES!!!!
While the theme and components are excellent, DOOM is really an exercise in frustration... for the marines. The evil invader will have a blast slaughtering players and creating overall havoc.
I have played this game twice. The first time my group never even made it out of the starting room. The second time we fared better, but still lost. This was only on the first scenario! I would love for this game to work, but it's just WAY too slanted toward the invader winning.
1) You will run out of ammo way before you run out of health. Ammo, guns, and other pickups are rare (even compared to the video game).
2) There is no limit to the amount of monsters the invader can throw at you. Even when you kill them he can still "respawn" them with the proper card. THEY WON'T STAY DEAD! You get quickly over run.
3) We discovered it was easier to punch weaker monsters rather than use your pistol because you can do more damage with the red (punch) die and not lose ammo. Shouldn't the pistol be stronger?
4) Finally, my group added one extra marine for a total of 4 (we used our own figure for the fourth marine) and we still had no chance. Jeez, who playtested this game anyway?!