6 December 2016 | DOOM

Journey to Hell

Gear Up for a Fight in DOOM: The Board Game


Some months ago, we announced DOOM®: The Board Game with an article entitled "The Invasion is Imminent," and now, that promise comes to fruition. Next week, DOOM: The Board Game will hit store shelves and you will have your first opportunity to bring the fear and fury home to your very own tabletop. 

In recent weeks, we've dug into the game's dynamic gameplay elements such as the marines' Action Deck, the invader's summoning abilities, and the high-intensity in-game atmosphere. You've grown more familiar with the roles on either side of the table and glimpsed a few of the many events and experiences you'll encounter throughout the game. In our final preview today, we will take one last look at what makes up a mission, other ways the invader may function in a mission, and what the road to success might look like—if you're lucky.

A Marine's Orders

Each mission in the game begins with a debriefing, which provides a short description of what the marines are trying to achieve. This introduction will designate one of six objective cards, instructing both parties, marine and invader, on what their goal will be, as well as any special rules associated with the task at hand. From eliminating all demons to collecting assets, the marine team's goals may vary from mission to mission. Their opponent, the invader, has but one ultimate outcome in mind—destruction and devastation. Though marines are able to respawn when they are killed, each death earns the invader player a frag token. When the invader has obtained six frag tokens, the marines' mission is deemed a failure, and they must return to attempt it another time. 

A number of the mission maps take place in the Union Aerospace Corporation, some of which have been featured in previous previews. However, in the struggle for control, you must also cross dimensions and descend into Hell for a portion of each operation. These expeditions will put the marines assigned to them in considerable danger, facing the largest numbers of demons they have yet encountered while attempting more challenging feats than they have experienced before. As a marine, you may be called to escort a drone to a secure location, protect valuable UAC technologies from the formidable demons, or even investigate the demise of combat teams much like your own. 

New Threats

You may notice in the debriefing above a threat card we've not yet explored. In previous articles, we spent time discussing the summoning powers of the Horde threat, though the mission featured in this article utilizes the Assault threat instead. While the marine team may gain experience and skill as they progress through more and more missions, each one may provide unique challenges. Differing threat cards are an example of this, challenging any strategies the marines have developed in their time on the battlefield. 

Here, you can see how the Assault Threat works. Using Horde, the invader summoned from one to two portals at the beginning of each status phase, discarding portals once they had been used. With Assault, however, the invader will collect threat tokens throughout the game, spending them as desired to flip up portals. Instead of discarding the tokens, though, portals are flipped facedown once summoned from. Thus, no area of the board is ever cleared of demons for good, offering an opportunity for an endless stream of Imps, Revenants, and Possessed Soldiers to overtake the map.

The Battle Begins

Fortunately for the marine team, UAC training is comprehensive so your soldiers are adaptable. At the beginning of each mission, the marines are able to choose any of a number of classes. They may do so randomly or by using any of the six designated fireteams, each made up of four highly specialized marines: frontline combatant, long-range marksman, high-mobility scout, and heavy-weapons specialist. Fireteam: Tomahawk,  for example, includes the quick and agile Ranger, the tactical Requisitions Officer, the resourceful Utilitarian, and the fast-thinking Combat Engineer.

The exceptional speed of the Ranger is particularly useful in a mission where you might be best served running past enemies rather than fighting them, and could find quite a bit of value in the mission featured here. With the support of the Requisitions Officer's discard abilities, the Ranger could dart out onto the battlefield, efficiently collecting pickups, activating teleporters, and escorting the drone across the map. The Utilitarian's movement abilities would make for an effective backup escort, while the Combat Engineer could cycle rapidly through their action deck, accessing powerful cards to take down demons and clear a path for the drone. Strategic teamwork will make each Fireteam far more effective than any combatant could be on their own. 

Every step you take in the game will have an impact, so whether you're in the business of slaughtering demons or summoning them, you'll have to make swift and strategic decisions from the very first round. Your starting map will look something like this, and depending on which side you're on, you may think you've got this in the bag. You never know, however, what tricks your opponent has up their sleeve. The moment you take to relax may be the moment the tables turn, so take note of every pickup item, health pack, grenade, and portal. You might need it later. 

Your Doom Awaits

So here you stand, face to face with the enemy on the landscape of Hell itself. Success is either squares or strikes away, but with a tough team standing in your way, it may not be as easy as you think. Every move you make will edge you closer to either victory or vanquish and it's nearly time to find out which that will be. 

DOOM: The Board Game will be available on store shelves next week. 

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